Strong Job Growth Continues in July 

Unemployment Remains Unchanged

JOB GROWTH: The number of new jobs rose in July by 255,000, exceeding many estimates. With upward revisions to employment gains in the previous two months totaling 18,000 jobs, the three-month average increased from 147,000 to 190,000 jobs.

TOP INDUSTRIES: In July, employment was up in professional and business services, healthcare and financial activities, with continued losses in the energy sector.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent, with the number of unemployed remaining fairly constant for nearly a year now at 7.8 million, including approximately two million long-term unemployed.

WAGES: Salaries gained another eight cents this past month, reaching an average hourly rate of $25.69, sustaining the annual average increase at 2.6 percent.

WORK WEEK: Workers spent a bit more time at work in July, with the average work week adding .1 hour to reach 34.5 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary staffing sector added 17,000 jobs in July, edging up its share of the total labor market to 2.03 percent.

SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? With two solid months of job gains, many economists are more optimistic about continued growth in the labor market for the remainder of the year. However, despite solid growth in both job activity and consumer spending, a lack of strong positive momentum in several other key economic indices, such as GDP, corporate earnings and investment in the capital-intensive energy and manufacturing sectors, is worrisome. For employers, a robust labor market signals even tougher competition for the best candidates.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, USA Today, Business Insider, Staffing Industry Analysts