Friday, August 2, 2013

Economy Added 162,000 Jobs in July and Unemployment Fell to 7.4%

Employment increased by 162,000 in July, well below expectations and the 6-month average of 200,000 jobs per month. Despite the slow job growth, the unemployment rate fell, reaching 7.4% in July, primarily due to a decreased labor force participation rate. The report also saw May and June’s employment gains lowered to 176,000 and 188,000 respectively, a net loss of roughly 26,000 jobs.

Job creation continued to be driven by the service sector, however July’s weaker job growth resulted from a weaker increase in service sector jobs. The service sector added 157,000 jobs, the slowest pace since January. July’s job growth was boosted slightly by the goods-producing sector, which added 4,000 jobs. Manufacturing payrolls contributed to the goods sector strength, adding 6,000 jobs, while construction lost 6,000, on net equaling out. Government added 1,000 jobs, a reverse from the previous two months of job losses.

The drop in the unemployment rate was due to a drop in the labor force participation rate, which declined from 63.5% in June to 63.4% in July.

Read the BLS report.

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