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Jobs Numbers
August 2, 2019

The Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. employers added 164,000 non-farm jobs in July, just below the 171,000 jobs forecast by economists surveyed by MarketWatch, and in line with the expectations of those polled by Reuters. The gains marked a slowdown from June's surge, although that month's growth was revised down from 224,000 jobs to 193,000 jobs. The strong but lower gains were not expected to affect the rising likelihood that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again in September to boost the economy, as President Trump's escalating trade war with China threatens to slow economic growth. The yearly pace of hourly wage gains edged up to 3.2 percent from 3.1 percent. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, near a 50-year low. Harold Maass

June 7, 2019

The U.S. added 75,000 jobs in May, falling short of the 185,000 new non-farm jobs economists polled by MarketWatch had expected. The Labor Department also said that it had adjusted April's blockbuster gains from 263,000 down to 224,000.

March's job growth was cut from 189,000 to 153,000. The unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent, near a 50-year low.Twelve-month hourly wage gains slowed from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent. The average wage for American workers rose 0.2 percent, or 6 cents, to $27.83 an hour. The report added to concerns about slowing economic growth, and increased pressure on the Federal Reserve to boost the economy by cutting interest rates. Harold Maass

May 3, 2019

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in April, exceeding expectations that ranged from 190,000 to 217,000, MarketWatch reports. The gains helped reduce the unemployment rate from 3.8 percent to a 49-year low of 3.6 percent, CNBC says. A sharp, 490,000-person drop in labor force participation also contributed to the decrease in unemployment. The average hourly earnings of American workers rose 0.2 percent, to $27.77 an hour, slightly less than expected.

The government revised March's job gains to 189,000, down from an initial report of 196,000. February's gain was adjusted from 33,000 to 56,000. Employment gains firmed up in the last two months after an erratic start this year, with a huge 312,000-job increase in January followed by February's weak gains after the government shutdown. Harold Maass

April 5, 2019

U.S. employers added 196,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department reported Friday. The number exceeded expectations of a 172,000-job gain forecast by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The number marked a rebound from a 17-month low in February, when U.S. non-farm payrolls grew by a disappointing 20,000 new jobs, although that figure was adjusted up to 33,000 in Friday's report. The strong jobs report could help ease fears of a sharp economic slowdown.

"A number that is close to consensus and with an upward revision to February will give you some degree of comfort that while the economy is slowing, it isn't declining rapidly," said Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America in Baltimore, shortly before the report came out. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent, CNBC reports. Harold Maass

January 4, 2019

U.S. employers added 312,000 non-farm jobs in December, far exceeding forecasts, according to a Friday report from the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a 182,000 increase, on average. Despite the gains, the unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent as 419,000 more people entered the labor force searching for work.

A broader measure of unemployment that takes into account discouraged workers and those doing part-time jobs for economic reasons remained at 7.6 percent.

Wages increased by 0.4 percent over the previous month, and 3.2 percent from a year ago, tying October for the best year-over-year increase since April 2009. The job gains showed that the economy remains strong despite growing concerns of a global slowdown. Harold Maass

December 7, 2018

U.S. employers added 155,000 non-farm jobs in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, continuing months of solid hiring but falling short of expectations. Economists polled by MarketWatch on average had forecast a gain of 190,000 jobs.

Unemployment remained at 3.7 percent for the third straight month, a 49-year low. Hourly wages rose by 0.2 percent to $27.35 an hour, leaving the 12-month rate of hourly wage gains unchanged at a nine-year high of 3.1 percent.

The solid numbers came despite warning signs of slowing growth and concerns over trade tensions. Hiring got a boost from higher-than-usual holiday hiring as retailers prepare for what they expect to be a strong holiday season. Harold Maass

November 2, 2018

U.S. non-farm employers added 250,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department reported Friday. The figure beat an average forecast of 208,000 new jobs by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The gains were enough to keep the unemployment rate at 3.7 percent, a 48-year low.

The continued strong hiring has made it harder for employers to find and keep workers, contributing to higher take-home pay for employees. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2 percent last month to $27.30 an hour. The wage increase over the past 12 months rose to 3.1 percent from 2.8 percent, marking the first time that number has reached 3 percent since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009. Harold Maass

September 7, 2018

Hiring continued at a strong pace in August with U.S. employers adding 201,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. The numbers came in at or above what economists polled by MarketWatch and Reuters expected. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9 percent. July's gain was revised to 149,000 from an initially reported 159,000, and June's was reduced from 248,000 to 208,000. Economists had predicted strong hiring encouraged by healthy consumer demand and economic growth. The yearly rate of pay increases hit the highest level since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, rising from 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent, CNBC reported. Harold Maass

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