U.S. economy gains 215,000 jobs in July

U.S. economy gains 215,000 jobs in July

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- America's job gains in July reinforced that the 2015 economy is good but not great.

The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predicted the economy would add 216,000 jobs. Anything above 200,000 is considered good.

The unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.3%, which is its lowest point since April 2008. That's considered near full employment.

Wage growth -- the missing piece to America's economic progress -- remained sluggish in July. Average hourly earnings only rose 2.1% compared to the prior year. Wage growth is the reason many Americans haven't felt the benefits of the economy's recovery. The Federal Reserve wants to see annual wage growth closer to 3.5%.

The jobs report is extra important now because the Fed is close to raising its key interest rate for the first time in over nine years. A rate hike would be a good sign for the economy's health, and how far it's come since the recession ended.

Economic growth has been okay this year -- solid but nothing to get excited about. Last year, the economy added 240,000 jobs a month on average between January and July. This year that figure is 178,000 -- a sign that job growth in isn't as stellar.

Still, the economy is still making strides in the right direction.

The-CNN-Wire
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