US unemployment held steady at 4.9% for July with 255,000 new jobs added for the month. While we continue to deal with the fallout from the ups and downs of the oil & gas industry, international currency fluctuations, and national political uncertainties, there are lots of positive signs for the economy. This includes wage gains which have seen a small uptick over the last twelve months, growing to 2.6%. This is ahead of the 2.2% wage growth reported from the same time the year before. Admittedly, this is still below the 3% – 3.5% reported in the years ahead of the recession. While certain roles and certain areas of the country have seen larger percentages of wage growth, economists point to increases in compensation (or lack thereof) as a significant factor for why some Americans aren’t feeling as great about the economic recovery yet. More jobs means stronger consumer spending, which in turn leads to more jobs. It also gives more people the “hope of employment”. The confidence in being able to potentially find a job contributed to 400,000 Americans joining the labor force in July.
Vice President of Business Development
The Richmond Group USA