The economy added jobs at a solid pace in July, reinforcing hopes about the economy

Georgia Tech student Sajad Abavisani, center, walks through the Startup Student Connection job fair, Wednesday, March 29, 2023, in Atlanta. U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in July, still marking a steady pace of growth. The data is likely to reinforce hopes about the economy amid rising expectations for a soft landing. (AP Photo/Alex Sliz)

Hiring held steady last month, as U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs, a solid — if not spectacular — pace of growth.

The data was largely within analyst expectations, with the unemployment rate edging down to 3.5% in July.

It points to an economy that remains sturdier than many had expected, with the labor market continuing to grow despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes.

Health care and hospitality were among the industries adding jobs, while factories and transportation saw job cuts.

Hiring has slowed since the beginning of the year, but employers are still adding more than enough jobs every month, keeping unemployment near a 50-year low.

Average wages in July were up 4.4% from a year ago — similar to the month before.

Wage growth has outpaced inflation in recent months, so workers’ paychecks are stretching further.

In another positive news, workers continue to come off the sidelines, with the labor force expanding by 152,000 people last month.

Job gains for May and June were revised down by a total of 49,000 jobs.

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