State of the Labor Market

July Jobs Report: New Post-Recession High for Working Age Adults


This was a banner jobs report. With the strong payroll number in July, job growth in the past three months is ahead of the 2016 pace and way ahead of what’s needed to keep up with population growth. Working-age adults are now more likely to be employed than at any time since the recession.

Although wage growth remains stuck at 2.5%, the changing industry mix might be holding wage growth back. Low-wage industries grew fastest in July, led by leisure and hospitality. That’s helping the least-educated Americans get back to work. The recovery is now strong and long enough to lift many of the people hurt most by the recession — except in manufacturing, which continues to lag overall jobs growth.

The report showed a new post-recession high for the share of working-age adults with jobs at 78.7%.

The fastest job growth in July was in lower-wage industries.

 Services dominated job gains, with the top three growth sectors all providing services, not goods.

Meanwhile, manufacturing hit a new low as a share of all US jobs.


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