The US Jobs Market Has Accomplished Something It Hasn't Done Since 1997

Job growth has hit more than 200,000 each month for the past six months in the U.S., the first time that mark has been reached since 1997.

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said Friday, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2%. Meanwhile, last month’s report was revised up to 298,000 from 288,000, and May was revised up to 229,000 from 224,000.

Here are the last six months of job gains, according to the latest BLS revisions:

• July: 209,000

• June: 298,000

• May: 229,000

• April: 304,000

• March: 203,000

• February: 222,000

Overall, analysts viewed the report as a good-but-not-great report. Economists had been expecting job growth of about 230,000, with unemployment projected to remain steady at 6.1%.

But the report confirmed another steady month of growth. Stocks are up, a day after huge losses wiped out all of the year’s gains.

The labour force participation rate in July increased to 62.9% from 62.8%, where it had been for the last three months. The average hours worked in July held steady at 34.5 hours per week, and average hourly earnings increased 2% year-over-year.

Last month, the U.S. also set a new record for consecutive months of private-sector job growth, a streak that continued in July.

Here’s a chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve illustrating the recent spike in job growth:

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