US job growth surged in July: live updates and news

U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs in July, the Department of Labor said Friday, again exceeding expectations for a labor market still recovering from the pandemic, but under mounting pressure from inflation and from the rising interest rates intended. to keep prices in check.

The impressive performance – bringing total employment back to February 2020 levels just before the pandemic lockdowns – indicates that a slowdown in some industries was not enough to bring down the overall workforce. And it provides new evidence that the United States has not entered a recession.

But most forecasters expect that momentum to slow significantly later in the year as companies cut payrolls to meet lower demand.

“At this stage things are going well,” said James Knightley, the chief international economist at ING bank. “Say, December or early next year, we could see much softer numbers there.”

The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, up from 3.6 percent in June, which corresponds to a 50-year low on the eve of the pandemic.

Last week, the government reported that the country’s gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, had contracted for the second consecutive quarter, adjusted for inflation. The data showed a sharp decline in housing construction, a decline in business investment and a slow increase in consumer spending.

Those trends will undoubtedly affect the labor market in general, even if they are not uniform or immediate.

Amy Glaser, senior vice president at global staffing agency Adecco, said her company still struggled to fill hourly jobs, especially in retail and logistics. Employers may not have made those features attractive enough and are increasingly doing without them.

“I think we have a gap in the jobs that are available and the desire to do those jobs,” Ms Glaser said. “We know there are tens of thousands of warehouse jobs, but being on your feet for 10 hours a day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.”

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