US Economy Sheds 131,000 Jobs in July


Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Federal government employment fell, as 143,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work. Private-sector payroll employment edged up by 71,000.

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 14.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at 9.5 percent, were unchanged in July.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.7 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.1 percent), whites (8.6 percent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.1 percent) showed little or no change in July. The jobless rate for Asians was 8.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9 percent of unemployed persons.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged over the month at 8.5 million but has declined by 623,000 since April. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

Total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 131,000 in July, reflecting the departure of 143,000 temporary Census 2010 workers from federal government payrolls. Total private employment edged up over the month (+71,000). Thus far this year, private sector employment has increased by 630,000, with about two-thirds of the gain occurring in March and April.

Manufacturing employment increased by 36,000 over the month. Motor vehicles and parts had fewer seasonal layoffs than normal for July, contributing to a seasonally adjusted employment increase of 21,000. The industry had added 32,000 jobs in the first 6 months of the year. In July, employment in fabricated metals rose by 9,000. Manufacturing employment has expanded by 183,000 since December 2009.

Health care added 27,000 jobs in July. Over the past 12 months, health care employment has risen by 231,000. Employment in transportation and warehousing edged up by 12,000. Since a recent low in February, transportation and warehousing has added 56,000 jobs.

Mining employment rose by 7,000 in July, with the gain concentrated in support activities for mining. Mining has added 63,000 jobs since October 2009.

Employment in professional and business services was little changed (-13,000) in July. The number of jobs in temporary help services showed little movement (-6,000) over the month.

Employment in financial activities continued to trend down in July, with a decline of 17,000. So far this year, monthly job losses in the industry have averaged 12,000, compared with an average monthly job loss of 29,000 for all of 2009.

Construction employment changed little (-11,000) in July; 10,000 construction workers were off payrolls due to strike activity.

Employment in other private-sector industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and leisure and hospitality showed little change in July.

Government employment fell by 202,000 in July, largely reflecting the loss of 143,000 temporary workers hired for Census 2010. Employment in both state and local governments edged down over the month.

In July, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek for all employees increased by 0.1 hour to 40.1 hours, following a decrease of 0.5 hour in June. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.5 hours in July.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $22.59 in July. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.8 percent. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $19.04.

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TradingEconomics.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
8/6/2010 9:39:11 AM