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United States Unemployment July 2023

United States: Job gains undershoot market expectations again in July

Total non-farm payrolls grew by 187,000 in July, undershooting market expectations for the second straight month. Moreover, job gains in May and June were revised down, while the average weekly hours worked fell. In July, employment rose in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and wholesale trade. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in July, around pre-pandemic levels, while nominal wage growth was robust at 4.4% year on year, well above inflation.

Taken together, the latest data suggests that the Fed’s aggressive hiking cycle, soft external demand and the post-pandemic normalization of activity are slowing sapping the labor market. Looking forward, our panelists see the labor market continuing to soften as H2 progresses, with the unemployment rate forecast to move above 4% by Q4.

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