155,965,000 Employed in July; 11th Record-Setter Under Trump

Susan Jones | August 3, 2018 | 8:40am EDT
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President Trump applauds his fans in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. at a campaign rally on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) – Following last month’s strong employment report, the numbers released on Friday were even better in some respects.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says a record 155,965,000 people were employed in July, the 11th record-breaker since President Trump took office 19 months ago.

"Our economy is soaring. Our jobs are booming. Factories are pouring back into our country, they coming from all over the world. We are defending our workers," President Trump told a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

BLS said the economy added 157,000 jobs in July (compared with a revised 248,000 in June).

The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as the number of employed people reached new heights, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6,280,000 in July. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites (3.4 percent) declined in July. The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers (13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), and Asians (3.1 percent), showed little or no change over the month. The unemployment rate for Hispanics hit a record low of 4.5 percent, down from last month's record 4.6 percent.

The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent in July, was unchanged over the month and over the year.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $27.05. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent.

In July, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 257,843,000. Of those, 162,245,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,245,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 257,843,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population, the same as last month's 62.9 percent.

Labor force participation outlook

In its 2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook, the Congressional Budget Office said it has slightly raised its projection of the labor force participation rate since last year.

CBO now projects that the rate of labor force participation will decline from 62.8 percent in 2018 to 61.0 percent in 2028 and to 59.5 percent in 2048. The aging of the population is the most important factor driving down the overall participation rate over the next 30 years, CBO said.

Because older people tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates than younger people, the aging of the population is expected to significantly dampen the rate of participation over the next 30 years. The share of people over the age of 65 is projected to increase from 16 percent in 2018 to 22 percent in 2048, and the share of the population ages 20 to 64 is expected to decline from 59 percent to 55 percent during that 30-year period.

CBO noted that three trends are putting downward pressure on the participation rate:

-- Men of the generations that followed the baby boomers tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates than male baby boomers did at the same age. (The participation of women from generations following the baby boomers has remained relatively constant.)

-- The share of people receiving federal disability benefits is generally projected to continue to rise, and people who receive such benefits are less likely to work.

-- The marriage rate is projected to continue to fall, especially among men, and unmarried men tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates than married men.

CBO expects those forces to be mostly offset by two trends:

-- As the population becomes more educated, labor participation rates are expected to increase because workers with more education tend to participate in the labor force at higher rates than do people with less education.

-- Second, increasing longevity is expected to lead people to continue working to increasingly older ages.

­­BLS noted that the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised up from +244,000 to +268,000, and the change for June was revised up from +213,000 to +248,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 59,000 more than previously reported.

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