The number of jobs in the US rose last month by 215,000. The non-farm payroll data released by the Department of Labour is an influential economic indicator and includes workers in goods, construction and manufacturing companies.
The increase was due to a pickup in construction and manufacturing employment which offset further declines in the mining sector, reported the department. Forecasts had predicted a higher rise of 225,000. The unemployment rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent.
There were also revisions to previous months, with changes to May and June’s figures adding another 14,000 jobs. Average hourly earnings rose five cents having been unchanged in June.
The data points to an improving economy which could open the door wider to the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Economists believe that could happen when the central bank’s policy makers next meet in mid-September.