Employment in the US held steady last month, bolstering hopes that the economy will avoid a painful downturn.

Employers added 187,000 jobs, similar to June, while the jobless rate dipped to 3.5%, from 3.6% in the prior month, the Labor Department said.

The report was the latest sign of economic resilience in the US, despite a sharp rise in borrowing costs.

Hiring has slowed since last year and was weaker than forecast in July, but has held up better than many expected.

Economists have been anticipating a slowdown in the world’s largest economy since last year, when the Federal Reserve began raising borrowing costs aggressively, responding to prices that were rising at the fastest pace in four decades.

Since the Fed started raising interest rates, inflation, the rate at which prices rise, has dropped sharply, clocking in at 3% in June.

But Fed chairman Jerome Powell has said that policymakers want to see other signs that the economy is cooling, in order to feel confident that their efforts are working.

Analysts said the latest figures were unlikely to settle that matter, pointing to an unemployment rate that remained near historic lows and wage gains that were stronger than expected, despite the slowdown in hiring.

The average hourly pay in July was 4.4% higher than a year ago, the Labor Department said.

By Admin

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