157,000 Jobs Added in July, Unemployment Rate Down to 3.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 157,000 in July, a decrease from last month’s upwardly revised reading of 248,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate ticked down to 3.9%.

Private service-providing industries gained 118,000 jobs, led by professional and business services and leisure and hospitality, adding 51,000 and 40,000, respectively.

Goods-producing employment rose by 52,000 jobs during the month, as gains in manufacturing led by adding 37,000. Construction employment posted its fourth consecutive increase, gaining 19,000 jobs in July.

The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.9 percent. Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks decreased by 198,000, while the number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell by 43,000 and accounted for 23 percent of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 512,000, little changed from a year earlier.

Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents, settling at $27.05. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 71 cents, or 2.7%.

Read the BLS release.