Nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate decreased to 4.3% from 4.4% in the previous month.
Econoday data made available by Bloomberg indicated that the consensus estimate for month-over-month job gains was 178,000. The unemployment rate was expected to drop to 4.3%.
Average hourly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents to $26.36 in July. Average hourly earnings rose by 65 cents, or 2.5%, on a year-over-year basis, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Total private payrolls increased to 205,000 in July from 194,000 in June, the Labor Department said.
The number of long-term unemployed, or those who have been jobless for at least 27 weeks, rose to 1.8 million in the month from 1.7 million in June and accounted for 25.9% of the unemployed. The labor force participation rate increased slightly to 62.9% in the month from 62.8% in June.
The number of involuntary part-time workers, or individuals who would prefer full-time employment, was essentially unchanged at 5.3 million in July.
The May payroll number was revised down to 145,000 jobs added from 152,000, and the change for June was revised up to 231,000 jobs added from 222,000.
The food services and drinking places added 53,100 jobs in the month, professional and business services added 49,000 jobs and healthcare added 39,400 jobs.
The mining industry added 1,200 jobs in July from June, while other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.