The U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in July according to this morning’s Labor Department report, pushing the unemployment rate down from 9.2% to 9.1%. The report beat economists’ projections that the economy would add 75,000, just enough to keep the unemployment rate steady.
The Labor Department also revised its figures for May and June, reporting that the economy added 56,000 more jobs than originally reported.
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Wages climbed in July, with average hourly wages up 0.4% to $23.13, beating expectations of a 0.2% increase. The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.3 hours.
While official unemployment numbers have decreased, it’s partly because 193,000 people dropped out of the labor force last month, reducing the number of unemployed by 156,000. However, the total share of the “eligible” population holding a job fell to 58.1%, its lowest level since July 1983.
The private sector added 154,000 jobs last month, beating expectations of a 113,000 gain. Factory payrolls increased by 24,000, with half of those jobs added by the auto industry. Construction employment rose by 8,000, and employment at service-providers rose by 75,000. Government payrolls decreased by 37,000 in July, partially offsetting private sector gains.