U.S. employers added 209,000 net new jobs in July, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, matching a 16-year-low first reached in May, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
The food services, professional and business services and healthcare sectors all saw job gains last month. So far this year, job growth has averaged about 184,000 per month, compared with a 187,000 average monthly gain in 2016.
Average hourly earnings increased by 9 cents to $26.36 in July.
The hiring data suggest that employers remain optimistic about their businesses and future consumer demand. The solid job gains may also fuel greater consumer spending, which would bolster economic growth
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
6:20 a.m.: This article was updated with staff reporting.
This article was originally published at 5:30 a.m.
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