The unemployment rate dropped by 0.2% to 7.4% in July with the U.S. economy adding a total of 162,000 net non-farm payroll jobs, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday in its latest Employment Situation Summary.
The private sector gained a total of 161,500 net jobs for the month. The most significant gains were in the retail, the professional and business services and the leisure and hospitality sectors. In addition, the manufacturing sector also had growth. Meanwhile, the construction sector fell in net jobs for the month.
July was the 41st consecutive month of private sector job growth. According to Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger in his White House blog on Friday over this period 7.3 million new jobs have been created, with 1.4 million jobs created in the first seven months of 2013.
The government sector gained net jobs by 1,000 jobs. Federal and State governments had drops overall of 2,000 jobs and 3,000 jobs, respectively. However, the local government sector had another month of growth, adding 6,000 jobs.
The May 2013 and June 2013 net non-farm job numbers were revised from +195,000 to +176,000 and from +195,000 to +188,000, respectively.
At 988,000 there was an increase by 136,000 in discouraged workers compared to July 2012. Discouraged workers are workers who have stopped searching for employment because they do not believe there is a job opportunity available for them. However, overall, including the previously mentioned discouraged workers, the total number of workers marginally attached to the labor force, those who had looked for employment over the past 12 months but had not done so over the past four weeks, was reported to be 2.4 million, showing little change from the July 2012 number.
The number of long-term unemployed, those out of work for longer than 27 weeks, had little change at 4.2 million. 37% of persons who were unemployed in July were within this long-term unemployed category. According to the BLS, the number of long term unemployed has dropped in by 921,000 over the past year.
In addition, at 8.2 million there was little change in involuntarily part-time workers, those that are part time due to the economic situation forcing their hours to be cut back or their inability to find full time employment.
Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for July:
• Construction: -6,000
• Financial Activities: +15,000
• Education and Health Services: +13,000
• Information: +9,000
• Leisure and Hospitality: +23,000
• Manufacturing: +6,000
• Mining and Logging: +4,000
• Other Services: -2,000
• Professional and Business Services: +36,000
• Retail: +46,800
• Transportation and Warehousing: +4,600
• Utilities: -1,600
• Wholesale Trade: +13,700
• Government: +1,000
Overall, the average work week for private sector non-farm jobs decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours while the manufacturing sector average work week decreased by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours. In July average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees dropped by 2 cents to $23.98; however, thus far in 2013 hourly earnings have increased by 1.9%.
In June the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with strong bipartisan support which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has calculated would be a significant boon to the U.S. economy over the next two decades. However, the GOP leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives led by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia has refused to allow a vote on the bill in the House despite the likelihood that a majority comprised of Republican and Democratic representatives would pass the bill.
President Barack Obama has continually attempted to work with republicans in Congress in order to help spur job growth and create a stronger middle class; however, republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate time and time again have been unwilling to negotiate.
White House economics council chairman Krueger again urged Congress to repeal the Sequester and enact a balanced deficit reduction plan which helps the U.S. economy to grow rather that hinders it, causing “self-inflicted wounds.”
“The across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester continue to be a drag on the economy now and in the future,” Krueger explained. He continued, “The Administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction, and promote the investments our economy needs to put more Americans back to work, such as by rebuilding our roads and bridges.”
The “August 2013 Employment Situation Summary” will be released by the BLS on Friday, September 6, 2013.
“Employment Situation Summary.” bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2 August 2013. Web. 2 August 2013.
Krueger, Alan. “The Employment Situation in July.” whitehouse.gov. The White House. 2 August 2013. Web. 2 August 2013.