US Labour Market July Jobs Report Indicates Moderation

US Labour Market

The US labour market showed signs of cooling in July, with 187,000 new jobs created and the unemployment rate dipping to 3.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While economists expected job gains to reach 200,000, the actual figure was the lowest since December 2020. Despite the slowdown in hiring, wages rose more than anticipated, leading to possible implications for the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

July Jobs Report Highlights

In July, the US economy added 187,000 new jobs, falling short of the projected 200,000. This brought the unemployment rate down to 3.5%, a slight improvement from the previous month’s 3.6%. However, job gains have averaged 312,000 per month over the past year, showcasing sustained growth.

Wage Growth Outpaces Expectations

Wages, a critical indicator of labour market strength, rose more than expected. On a monthly basis, wages increased by 0.4%, and over the past year, they grew by 4.4%. Economists had foreseen a 0.3% monthly rise and a 4.2% annual increase. The robust wage gains may prompt some Federal Reserve officials to consider further rate hikes to manage inflationary pressures.

Federal Reserve’s Approach

The Federal Reserve views the slowdown in hiring as a positive sign, as it aligns with their efforts to tame inflation. However, the surge in wage growth may prompt a reassessment of additional rate hikes. The upcoming September FOMC meeting will be crucial in determining the Fed’s future policy decisions.

Impact on Monetary Policy

The July jobs report could influence the Federal Reserve’s decision-making process. Given the evidence of a cooling labour market, some experts believe it supports the case for holding off on further rate hikes. However, any surprises in the future labour market and inflation data may alter this stance, potentially leading to renewed discussions of rate increases.

Federal Reserve’s Next Move

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce its next monetary policy decision on September 20. In the previous month, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by an additional 0.25%, bringing it to the highest level since 2001. The upcoming data on the labour market and inflation will play a pivotal role in shaping the Fed’s actions.

Industry-Specific Insights

The healthcare and social assistance industry dominated job creation in July, adding 87,100 new roles, accounting for nearly half of the total nonfarm payroll growth. Conversely, several industries reported declines in employment, including manufacturing, motor vehicles, nondurable goods, transportation & warehousing, and temporary help services. The government sector saw an increase of 15,000 jobs.


The July jobs report paints a picture of a cooling US labour market, with moderate job gains and a dip in the unemployment rate. While wage growth outperformed expectations, its impact on future rate hikes remains uncertain. As the Federal Reserve contemplates its next monetary policy move, data from the labour market and inflation will be crucial in shaping their decisions.

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