US Economy
US jobs rose by 215,000 in July; Unemployment rate stable at 5.3%
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
Aug 7, 2015 - 3:14 PM

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US nonfarm payroll employment rose by 215,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.3%. Employment increased in retail trade, health care, professional and technical services, and financial activities. The Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that the broad rate of unemployment was 10.4%.

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, commented: "The private sector has added 13.0m jobs over 65 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that private-sector employment rose by 210,000 in July. Our businesses created more than 200,000 jobs in fifteen of the past seventeen months. In fact, we have created over 5.5m private-sector jobs over the past two years—more than in any two-year period since 1997-1999"

Incorporating revisions for May and June, which increased nonfarm payroll employment by 14,000, monthly job gains have averaged 235,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 months prior to July, employment growth averaged 246,000 per month.

Retail trade employment rose by 36,000 in July, with motor vehicle and parts dealers contributing 13,000 of the increase. Over the year, retail trade has added 322,000 jobs.

Health care employment increased by 28,000 over the month, and has grown by 436,000 over the year. Hospitals added 16,000 jobs in July.

Employment in professional and technical services rose by 27,000 over the month, as job growth continued in computer systems design and related services (+9,000) and in architectural and engineering services (+6,000). Employment gains in these two industries have accounted for nearly half of the 301,000 increase in professional and technical services employment over the past 12 months.

Employment in financial activities increased by 17,000 in July. Within the industry, insurance carriers and related activities added 10,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment edged up by 15,000 over the month. Job gains occurred in several nondurable industries, including food manufacturing (+9,000) and plastics and rubber products (+6,000).

In July, employment continued to trend up in food services and drinking places (+29,000) and in transportation and warehousing (+14,000).

Mining employment continued on a downward trend in July (-5,000). Since its recent peak in December, mining has shed 78,000 jobs.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents in July to $24.99. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1%. From June 2014 to June 2015, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2% percentage point (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Turning now to data from the survey of households, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said that most major indicators showed little or no change over the month. The unemployment rate held at 5.3% in July, and the number of unemployed was unchanged at 8.3m. Among the unemployed, 26.9%, or 2.2m, had been unemployed 27 weeks or more, little changed from the prior month.

The labour force participation rate, at 62.6%, was unchanged in July, after declining by 0.3 percentage point in June. The employment-population ratio was also unchanged in July, at 59.3%, and has shown little movement thus far this year.

Among those employed in July, 6.3m were working part time for economic reasons. These individuals, also referred to as involuntary part-time workers, would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work. The number of involuntary part-time workers changed little over the month, but has fallen by 1.1m over the year.

Among people who were neither working nor looking for work in July, 1.9m were classified as marginally attached to the labour force, down from 2.2m a year earlier. These individuals had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was 668,000 in July, little different from a year earlier.


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