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The July jobs report indicated that USA employers added 157,000 jobs on net last month, fewer than economists expected.

That said, the revisions for the two previous months - May and June - looked very good, with a combined gain of 59,000 jobs as compared to previous BLS reports.

The Labor Department on Friday released its hiring and unemployment figures for July, providing a fresh snapshot of the USA economy. The economy grew at 4.1% during the second quarter, its fastest place in almost four years.

Professional services, which includes jobs in computer systems, architecture and temporary help, added 51,000 jobs last month.

The broadest measure of unemployment - including all workers forced into part-time jobs and those who have become discouraged in their search - fell three tenths to 7.5 percent, its lowest level since May 2001.

Friday's report showed that the closure of Toys "R" Us had an outsized impact on the employment picture in July as the economy lost 31,800 jobs from the sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores sub-industry, which in total only employs around 600,000 people.

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the nation's central bank, said the economy was "strong", an upgrade from its June assessment, which dubbed the economy "solid".

Asian unemployment dropped to 3.1 percent while black unemployment, still hovering around historical lows, increased slightly to 6.6 percent. The monthly increase in wages was an improvement from June's 0.1% increase.

One cloud on the horizon has been the Trump administration's trade fights with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

One area of concern in the jobs data released this week is a marked downturn in wages. "There is such a thing as slack in labor markets being removed and scarcity puts upward pressure on prices somewhere", he said. The core PCE hit the central bank's 2 percent inflation target in March for the first time since December 2011. This suggests that the trade disputes between the United States and China are not yet slowing down hiring in manufacturing. In the last 12 months, factories have added 327,000 jobs. Retail payrolls rebounded by 7,100 jobs last month after losing 20,200 in June.

Transportation payrolls dropped by 1,300 jobs last month, with transit and ground transportation employment declining by 14,800 jobs.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.


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