July employment

July’s employment numbers from the BLS shows a somewhat improving story. 163,000 jobs were created in July but the unemployment rate rose by 0.1% to 8.3% (what the BLS calls “essentially unchanged”)(UPDATE: the July rate is 8.254%, up from 8.217% in June). The number of new jobs greatly surpassed economist’s expectation of a 95,000 increase in payrolls (according to the Wall Street Journal). Employment went up in manufacturing (mostly in transportation industries), professional and business services, food services and drinking places, education and health services, and information industries (significantly in Motion picture and sound recording industries). Overall construction employment declined with specialty trade contractors dropping the most while residential building jobs grew. Government jobs continued to decline.
The number of involuntary underemployed continued to increase, although at a small amount than in previous months. Those who could only find part time work rose by 36,000. Importantly, the number of individuals working part time because of slack work actually declined while those who could only find part time work jumped in July after declining in June.

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