The U.S. economy added 943,000 nonfarm jobs in July, while the unemployment rate declined 0.5 percentage point from June to 5.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
Growth in nonfarm payrolls was larger than the market consensus of an increase of about 870,000 and marked the biggest gain since August last year, underscoring the continuing recovery in the labor market that was heavily hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The department revised upward the nonfarm payrolls growth reported for June from 850,000 to 938,000. The May figure was also revised up from 583,000 to 614,000.
In July, private industry generated 703,000 jobs, while the government added 240,000 jobs.
Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to be among the bright spots, with 380,000 jobs added to the sector. But it was still down by 1.7 million, or 10.3 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020, according to the department.
The goods-producing sector created 44,000 jobs, with employment in manufacturing and construction increasing 27,000 and 11,000, respectively.
Hourly pay in the private sector, a key factor behind consumer spending, averaged $30.54, up from $30.43 the previous month.