The U.S. labor market continues to improve. Employers added 215,000 jobs in July which widens the door for a September interest rate hike by the Fed. Shartia Brantley reports.
The U.S. labor market continues to improve. In July, employers added 215,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained at 5.3 percent, according to the Labor Department. A pickup in construction and manufacturing jobs offset further declines in the mining sector. The 215-thousand jobs added slightly missed the 223-thousand forecast of Economists polled by Reuters. But the May and June figures were revised upward and average hourly wages also climbed a tad. However, the labor participation rate remains at a more than 37 and a half year low at 62.6 percent and this could pose a roadblock to the Fed The Fed has been watching the labor market closely as it considers its first rate hike in years. Interest rates have remained near the zero range since December 2008. The Conference Board's Gad Levanon SOUNDBITE: GAD LEVANON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE CONFERENCE BOARD IN (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think the two main numbers to think about is how fast the labor force is growing, which is barely at all and if employment continues to grow 200 plus every month that means that the labor market is rapidly tightening and I think the Fed is reacting to that and they will continue to react to it as long as employment is that strong." The next Fed decision comes out September 17th.