U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 157k jobs last month, still more than the roughly 120k jobs per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The economy created 59k more jobs in May and June than previously reported.

The market had forecast payrolls increasing by 190k jobs last month. The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.9%, even as more people entered the labor force.

A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, dropped three tenths of a percentage point to 7.5%, the lowest level since March 2001.

Wage growth remained moderate, with average hourly earnings increasing seven cents, or 0.3%, after a gain of 0.1% in June. The annual increase in wages was unchanged at 2.7% in July.

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