The U.S. economy gained 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation in both union and nonunion sectors showed modest growth for the year ending June 2019. Meanwhile, productivity is rising faster than wages in too many industries.
In response to the July job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
The tepid 3.2% in wage growth in perspective: For a higher wage sector like manufacturing, wages were up 2.5%, but in lower wage sectors where the minimum wage increases have mattered, retail trade was up 5.3% and leisure and hospitality up 3.7% @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/3m4Xz8qC4g— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
With continued revisions in previously release preliminary employment numbers, so far this year has averaged 164,000 jobs a month; compared to 223,000 jobs a month in 2018. The @federalreserve rate cut should not be a mid-course correction; but, a time to change course. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Changing job demographics. Latinx unemployment has been rising consistently since April from 4.2 to 4.5% in July. But, with higher labor force participation and rising employment-to-population ratio from 63.2 to 63.4% @UnidosUS_Econ @Marietmora @AFLCIO @LULAC— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Black and white labor force participation continues to show convergence, with slight up tic in Black labor force participation in July for Blacks from 61.9 to 62.7, now virtually equal to white's 62.9% rate. @AFLCIO #JobsReport @rolandsmartin @CBTU72 @APRI_National pic.twitter.com/zIFg0ysf0H— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
July continued to show that trying to explain the labor market using a skills argument is difficult. Unemployment rates fell for less than high school and high school only workers, but rose for better educated workers with some college or a degree. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/JJoFXSAF24— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Not good. Since last July, unemployment among younger veterans has risen, while unemployment rates for older veterans and for non-veterans has gone down. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/RQCbE4rQLj— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
To be clear. This July report is not good news for the President of Hate. Unemployment is up from last July for blue collar jobs of construction, production workers and transportation jobs. It was also up for current younger veterans. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/ebZT1lM7aG— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Legislation to ensure workers have regular schedules is important because 5.2% of the workforce hold multiple jobs. For women, a large share are either putting together two part-time or one full-time and a part-time job to make it. #JobsReport @IWPResearch @AFLCIO @CLUWNational pic.twitter.com/cuTtom2N6s— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Given the heavy debt-overhang in many retail sector companies, continued job weakness is a concern. July, retail shed 3,600 jobs since June and 59,900 since last July. (Though food and beverage stores show modest gains @UFCW ) @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
After finally recovering to near its 2008 peak in September 2018 a decade later, state government employment continues to show weakness; unchanged in June and down 23,000 since last July. @AFSCME @AFLCIO Low public investment is not good for our economy. pic.twitter.com/7dReHYOGFw— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Local government employment continues its recovery, and after gaining 14,000 jobs in July, is about equal to its June 2008 peak (11 years later). But this is late for our class rooms that have had too few teachers-per-student. @AFTunion @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/JmycgkXXG5— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
It's time to rebuild labor economics. Our two largest broad industry categories are: 1) Education and Health Services and 2) Business and Professional Services. (1) is 77.3% female, the other (2) 45.6% female. The two industries are over 1/3 of private employment. @CLUWNational pic.twitter.com/J6ojOOP7Nr— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Continued weakness for women in the labor market. Once again in July, women who were unemployed in June were more likely to drop out than find employment (763,000 to 711,000). Except June, this has been the case most this year. @CLUWNational @IWPResearch https://t.co/hliQQA9Zg7— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019
Last month's biggest job gains were in professional and technical services (31,000), health care (30,000), social assistance (20,000), financial activities (18,000) and manufacturing (16,000). Mining saw a loss of jobs (5,000). Employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government changed little over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates rose for Asians (2.8%) and Hispanics (4.5%). The unemployment rates for teenagers (12.8%), blacks (6.0%), adult men (3.4%), whites (3.3%) and adult women (3.4%) showed little or no change in July.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in July and accounted for 19.2% of the unemployed.