Private payrolls rose by 179,000 in July, evidence that the U.S. labor market remains solid even if job creation is moderating.
The result, reported by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics, largely matched expectations. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected an increase of 178,000.
June’s gain, initially reported at 172,000, was revised up to 176,000.
“Job growth remains strong, but is moderating as the economy approaches full employment,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.
While U.S. job growth surged in June, rebounding from a dismal May, the broader trend suggests job growth has moderated from last year.
Still, many economists expect U.S. employers to continue to grow payrolls at a solid clip. At the same time, some wage gauges are suggesting pay for many Americans is set to pick up as employers look to hire from a shrinking pool of workers.
“The pace of job gains over the past three months has been a bit slower than the average of nearer 200,000 for the first three months of this year,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “A bit slower, but still strong enough to keep the unemployment rate on a gradual downward trend,” he said.