The economy added 215,000 jobs in July while the unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 5.3 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 225,000 jobs to be added.
The strongest gains were in retail (36,000), food and drink places (29,000), health care (28,000), and professional services (27,000).
Revisions to the past months added 14,000 jobs, with May increased to 260,000 jobs and June up to 231,000. The economy has added an average of 235,000 jobs a month over the past three months.
Hourly earnings rose by 5 cents in July and have risen 2.1 percent over the last year. They have been increasing at a record low rate.