employment news

The monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was released this morning, and overall it points to continued economic recovery. The major news was that the economy added 209,000 jobs in July, the sixth straight month that more than 200,000 jobs were added.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • While the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent, this was in part due to more workers joining the workforce.
  • 2.2 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 236,000 from a year prior. These are people who were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the past 12 months.
  • The number of discouraged workers in July was down by 247,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are those not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
  • The industries hiring the most workers were professional and business services (+47,000 jobs); manufacturing (+28,000); retail (+27,000); and construction (+22,000).
  • Employment gains in May and June were 15,000 higher than previously reported.

Here’s what others are saying about the report and the state of the economy:

  • “The central bank is pumping billions of dollars into the economy each month in hopes of speeding up the labor market’s recovery. But as the data has improved, the Fed has been scaling back its support and is expected to end the program altogether in October. If the improvement in the labor market continues, the Fed will likely raise interest rates in the middle of next year — a momentous decision that would mark a shift out of crisis mode and a return to normal.” – The Washington Post
  • “But the job gains were lower than in prior months and less than Wall Street had expected, perhaps helping to calm fears that the economy is accelerating too quickly.” – The New York Times
  • “The economy expanded at a 4 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter after a steep 2.1 percent contraction in the first quarter. Americans stepped up their spending, particularly on autos, furniture and other big-ticket items. Businesses also spent more on plants, office buildings and equipment.” – CBSNews.com