209,000 jobs added in July as U.S. unemployment rate falls to 4.3 percent, lowest in 16 years

WASHINGTON — America has added more than 1 million jobs since President Donald Trump took office.

The U.S. economy gained a strong 209,000 jobs in July, more than economists had expected. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent, matching a 16-year low.

Just after the Great Recession in 2009, unemployment peaked at 10 percent.

Many economists say the United States is at or near full employment, meaning the unemployment rate won’t go down significantly more.

The job market continues to be one of the main strengths of the U.S. economy. July was the 82nd consecutive month of job growth.

But wage growth is sluggish. Wages grew only 2.5 percent in July. The Federal Reserve would like to see wage growth kick up to 3.5 percent.

While the United States has added 1.07 million jobs during Trump’s six months in office, he isn’t entirely responsible for the job market’s wins and losses.

A slew of factors throughout the economy affect hiring decisions.