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BLS Jobs Report: 215,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment Unchanged at 5.3 Percent


After a relatively soft ADP report, tallying the addition of 185,000 jobs to private payrolls in July, this morning’s release of the Employment Situation Summary from the labor department is good news. The report, which includes government jobs as well as those in the private sector, showed that total non-farm employment increased by 215,000 jobs last month, just shy of the 223,000 jobs predicted by economists. Unemployment was flat at 5.3 percent.


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“I think it’s a sign of progress that we’re seeing decent job gains every month,” Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, told The Washington Post. “Boring is good.”

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Little changed in this month’s report. The unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons stayed the same, 5.3 percent and 6.3 million, respectively. The number of long-term unemployed was essentially the same at 2.2 million. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.9 percent.

Wages, on the other hand, increased slightly last month. Average hourly earnings increased by 5 cents to $24.99, after remaining flat from May to June. Wage growth is still fairly stagnant, however; over the previous year, wages increased only 2.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages of all employed U.S. workers, forecasts a 0.4 percent year-over-year increase for the third quarter.

Employment increased in several industries, including retail (+36,000 jobs), food services and drinking places (+29,000 jobs), healthcare (+28,000 jobs), professional and technical services (+27,000 jobs), financial activities (+17,000 jobs), manufacturing (+15,000 jobs), and transportation and warehousing (+14,000 jobs).

Mining lost 5,000 jobs last month, and other industries remained flat, including construction, wholesale trade, government, and information.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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