WASHINGTON (AP) — It was a solid month of hiring for teachers, hospital workers, restaurant staff and computer developers as employers added 255,000 jobs in July.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, professional services gained 70,000 workers in July, with growth in computer systems, architectural and engineering jobs. In the leisure sector, restaurants added 21,200. The hiring of schoolteachers boosted government employment by 38,000 jobs, while the health care sector added 43,200.
Hiring in the information sector was flat after a strong June. Factories added 9,000 in July, but their yearly job totals have dropped because low oil prices have hurt equipment orders, and a strong dollar has restricted exports.
The unemployment rate held at 4.9 percent. Average wages improved at a steady 2.6 percent clip from a year ago. The gains indicated that employers are confident that the economy will improve, even though growth averaged a sluggish annual rate of about 1 percent in the first six months of the year.