The US labor force grew to a new high of 163.4 million last month — a record that was overshadowed Friday by rising trade tensions.

The Labor Department Friday reported that 164,000 non-farm jobs were added to the economy in July — a bump that was aided by 370,000 new workers entering the labor force.

Unemployment continues to stand at 3.7%, near a 50-year low, while wages ticked upward 3.2% over the last year.The Labor Department figures signal a healthy but not overheating economy and provides some validation for the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates earlier this week, experts said.

The data failed, however, to lift investors’ spirits amid growing signs of a US trade war with China. Those fears sent the S&P 500 to its worst week this year.

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