164,000 jobs added in July; 3.7% unemployment

National

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. employment report for July (all times local):

8:30 a.m.

U.S. employers slowed their hiring in July, adding a still-healthy 164,000 jobs to an economy that appears poised to extend its decade-plus expansion.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate stayed at 3.7% for a second straight month. Average hourly earnings increased 3.2% from a year ago, up from annual gains of 3% in June.

The pace of hiring has slowed this year as a growing share of Americans already have jobs. The three-month average for job gains was 140,000, down from 237,000 a year ago.

The U.S. economy has faced some tumult as President Donald Trump has escalated his trade conflict with China, yet the Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to cut a short-term interest rate to sustain the longest period of growth in U.S. history.

___

12:05 a.m.

U.S. employers are thought to have sustained a steady pace of hiring in July, a reassuring sign for an economy that’s endured a series of ups and downs.

Economists have forecast that the government will report that 163,000 jobs were added in July, according to data provider FactSet. This would be roughly in line with the average monthly gain of 172,000 so far this year, though below the 224,000 jobs added in June.

The unemployment rate is believed to have remained at 3.7% for a second straight month, close to a 50-year low.

The economy’s overall growth, along with consumer spending, has been solid. But business investment has been declining, home sales have weakened and manufacturers have shown signs of struggling.

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