U.S. payroll gains top 250,000 for second straight month

Payroll growth in the United States topped 250,000 for a second consecutive month with hiring across a range of industry sectors.

The national unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent for July as more people entered the work force. Average hourly earnings increased.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 255,000, according to the latest Labor Department report. Moreover, initial estimates for job gains in June and May were revised upward a total of 18,000 to 292,000 for June and 24,000 for May.

Using the most recent numbers, nonfarm payrolls have increased on average 190,000 a month over the past three months.

For July, the  ranks of the unemployed held steady at about 7.8 million people. While 2 million people were counted among those who’ve been out of work 27 weeks or longer, another 5.9 million people were counted among those working part time because their hours had been cut or they’re unable to find full-time positions. The civilian labor participation rate edged up a tenth of a point to 62.8 percent.

Professional and business services added 70,000 jobs in July, while employment increased 45,000  in the leisure and hospitality sector and 43,000 in health care. Payrolls grew 18,000 in financial activities, 14,000 in construction and 9,000 in manufacturing,

Mining employment continued to trend down with the loss of another 6,000 jobs in July. The sector has lost 220,000 jobs since September 2014.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls edged up a tenth of an hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek remained unchanged 40.7 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls increased 8 cents to $25.69. Over the past year, earnings have increased 2.6 percent.