The U.S. job market is chugging ahead, making the type of progress Federal Reserve policy makers want to see in order to raise interest rates as soon as September.

Employers added 215,000 jobs in July, the unemployment rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent and workers put in longer hours, a Labor Department report showed Friday. Payroll gains in the previous two months were revised up.

The broad-based gain in hiring — with builders to hospitals to restaurants adding staff — signals employers are optimistic the U.S. will successfully navigate past a global growth slowdown. More jobs combined with a longer workweek are making up for still-slim wage increases, which may encourage consumers to boost spending and spur the economy.

“Job growth is rock solid,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who correctly forecast the increase in payrolls. “It’s more than sufficient to continue to chip away at the slack that’s left in the job market.”  Read More…