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U.S. Jobs Surprise in One Report, Disappoint in Another
July’s non-farm payrolls crushed Wall Street’s estimates, coming in at 528,000 jobs created compared to 250,000 expected, bringing the headline unemployment rate down to 3.5%. Total U.S. employment hit a new record, surpassing the pre-pandemic high, though labor force participation fell. The decline in the supply of labor (as seen in labor force participation) combined with increased demand for labor (as seen by record job openings) is putting pressure on the price of labor (wages), which has risen 5.2% year over year.
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