WASHINGTON | Hiring sizzled in July in business services, manufacturing and hospitality.
Professional services, which includes jobs in computer systems, architecture and temporary help, added 51,000 jobs last month. Over the past year, it has hired more than a half-million Americans and stands as the leading job-creating sector.
Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs, the most in seven months.
Nearly all the gains came from makers of durable goods such as machinery, computer components and auto parts.
Restaurants, bars and hotels added 40,000 jobs, the most in nine months.
Sectors that didn’t fare as well included financial services, government and transportation, all of which lost jobs.
Overall, U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.9 percent, from 4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
The rate for those who have served in the armed forces anytime since September 2001 dropped to 3 percent, the lowest level on record since 2006.
The strong job market is starting to benefit lower-skilled workers as well. The jobless rate for Americans without high school diplomas dropped to 5.1 percent, the lowest level on record going back to 1992.