According to the Labor Department, health and retail sectors were strongest in July. There were also hiring gains across a broad swath of industries, including an increase of 15,000 manufacturing jobs. Joseph LaVogna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, told the Washington Post this morning that if hiring keeps up the pace, the unemployment rate would fall below 5 percent for the first time since 2008.
On the down side, the mining sector, which includes the oil and gas industry, shed 5,000 positions in July.
Average hourly earnings of private-sector workers rose 5 cents, or 0.2 percent, in July to $24.99. Compared to a year ago, wages are up 2.1 percent. The average workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours in July.