The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in July, according to the monthly employment report released today by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This seasonally adjusted figure is 36.7 percent lower than June's upwardly revised addition of 248,000 jobs, and marks an 17 percent decrease from last July, when 190,000 jobs were created. This number falls short of economists' expectations that 190,000 jobs would have been added last month.

In July, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 points back down to 3.9 percent, after having bounced back up to 4 percent in June, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 7 cents in July to $27.05, a 71-cent, (or 2.7 percent) increase from a year prior.

In July, overall construction industry employment increased by 19,000 positions, to a total of 7.24 million jobs. Since last year, construction employment has expanded by 308,000 positions. Employment related to the construction of nonresidential buildings increased by 3,800 positions last month, and the number of positions in residential construction rose by 600, resulting in a total of 1.6 million total jobs. In heavy and civil engineering, the number of positions increased by 800, while employment of specialty trade contractors increased by 14,200 positions.

Employment in manufacturing rose by 37,000 jobs last month, with gains attributable to an increase of 32,000 jobs in durable goods industries, which accounted for the largest share of employment gains in manufacturing.

Meanwhile, payrolls in architectural and engineering services increased by 4,800 jobs in July, to a rounded total of 1.48 million positions.

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