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"Non-farm payrolls increased by a more modest 157,000 in July but, with the gain in the preceding two months revised up by a cumulative 60,000, the labor market still appears to be in good health", said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics. Economists expected a gain of at least 190,000 jobs - and they said wages, which have risen 2.7 percent since the start of the year, are barely keeping pace with inflation.

The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs, and unemployment fell slightly to 3.9 percent in July, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The jobs data released on Friday followed a report that the United States trade deficit widened in June for the first time in four months as exports fell and imports grew.

The broadest measure of unemployment - including all workers forced into part-time jobs and those who have become discouraged in their search - fell three tenths to 7.5 percent, its lowest level since May 2001. There are about 6.6 million unfilled jobs in the nation.

Jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor tracks wages across the US in its Local Pay Reports. The annual increase in wages was unchanged at 2.7 percent in July.

One cloud on the horizon has been the Trump administration's trade fights with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Wage growth has been stuck around that level for two years. African American and Hispanic unemployment rates are hovering around the lowest rates since the Labor Department began recording those statistics in the early 1970s.

Friday's report also included a revision to prior jobs reports, which now suggests the economy added 248,000 jobs in June, up from an initial report showing 213,000 new jobs were added to the economy. Faucher writes that as that happens, job growth will slow down because businesses will find it more hard to recruit new hires.

Expectations were for the economy to add 193,000 jobs with the unemployment rate falling to 3.9%. Let's go inside the latest jobs report as leading human capital experts weigh in. Blue-collar jobs have grown sharply, with manufacturing adding 327,000 positions in the past year and construction adding 308,000.

People looking for jobs at factories had a better chance of being hired last month.

Yet the trade fights didn't appear to impact hiring last month. Mining employment registered its first decline in 10 months in July (-4,000) but is likely to bounce back with higher energy prices propelling activity in the sector. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.