Strong July Hiring Narrowly Focused in Five Industries

August 04, 2017

Employers added 209,000 payroll jobs in July and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent, but most of the job gains occurred in just five industries.  Average hourly wages continued to grow at 2.5 percent over the past year, but have jumped 4.9 percent in the information industry and 3.8 percent in the leisure and hospitality industry.  Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 195,000 per month, up from 163,000 in the prior three months, and slightly faster than the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016.  Notably, just five industries accounted for about 75 percent of the job growth in July:
  • Bars and Restaurants (+53,100);
  • Health Care (+39,400).
  • Administrative Support, including Temporary Help Services (+30,000);
  • Professional and Technical Services (+18,800); and
  • Manufacturing (+16,000).
Most other industries were little-changed.  Over the past year, health care (327,000), bars and restaurants (313,000), administrative support (280,000), and professional and technical services have added over half (55%) of all net new payroll job growth.  Meanwhile, there are over 328,000 jobs waiting to be filled on, the Association's job board, and the BLS has separately reported there are 5.7 million job openings in the U.S.