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Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 163,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing. Both the number of unemployed persons (12.8 million) and the unemployment rate (8.3 percent) were essentially unchanged in July. Both measures have shown little movement thus far in 2012. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics (10.3 percent) edged down in July, while the rates for adult men (7.7 percent), adult women (7.5 percent), teenagers (23.8 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and blacks (14.1 percent) showed little or no change.
The jobless rate for Asians was 6.2 percent in July (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.2 million. These individuals accounted for 40.7 percent of the unemployed. Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little in July.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.2 million in July. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. In July, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down from 2.8 million a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 852,000 discouraged workers in July, a decline of 267,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.
In July, employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing. Employment in professional and business services increased by 49,000 in July. Computer systems design added 7,000 jobs, and employment in temporary help services continued to trend up (+14,000).
Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 29,000 over the month and by 292,000 over the past 12 months. Manufacturing employment rose in July (+25,000), with nearly all of the increase in durable goods manufacturing. Within durable goods, the motor vehicles and parts industry had fewer seasonal layoffs than is typical for July, contributing to a seasonally adjusted employment increase of 13,000.
Employment continued to trend up in fabricated metal products (+5,000). Employment continued to trend up in health care in July (+12,000), with over-the-month gains in outpatient care centers (+4,000) and in hospitals (+5,000). Employment also continued to trend up in wholesale trade. Utilities employment declined in July (-8,000). The decrease reflects 8,500 utility workers who were off payrolls due to a labor-management dispute. Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little or no change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours in July. Both the manufacturing workweek, at 40.7 hours, and factory overtime, at 3.2 hours, were unchanged over the month.
The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 2 cents to $23.52. Over the year, average hourly earnings rose by 1.7 percent.
In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 2 cents to $19.77. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +77,000 to +87,000, and the change for June was revised from +80,000 to +64,000.
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