The U.S. added 187,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, missing forecasts for 200,000 jobs and up slightly from a revised 185,000 added in June. June's job gain was originally reported as 209,000.
The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5% in July from 3.6% in June. Economists had forecast a rate of 3.6% for July.
The price of bitcoin (BTC) slipped a few dollars to $29,100 in the minutes following the release of the July jobs report.
Friday morning's report could be among the first signs that the labor market is beginning to cool after nearly 18 months of an aggressive Federal Reserve rate hike cycle that's taken the fed-funds rate target from 0%-0.25% in March 2022 to its current 5.25%-5.50%. Prior to the report, the market had priced in a 20% chance of the Fed raising rates at its next policy meeting in mid-September. In the minutes following the news, that chance edged down to 17.5%.
Still, the headline miss seems unlikely to set off any panic alarms over the economy at the central bank. Alongside the slower-than-expected job growth, the unemployment rate ticked even lower. Also, average hourly earnings, which are being closely followed by the Fed, rose 4.4% from a year ago, versus forecasts for a 4.2% rise.
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