Nation's Job Growth Steady, Unemployment Flat 

The United States economy added 215,000 jobs in July but the nation's unemployment rate remained at 5.3 percent, the U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning. Additionally, revisions to previous numbers indicate that 6,000 more jobs had been added in May and 8,000 more in June than was previously reported.

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.

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