The U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point to 9.1%, the Labor Department said Friday. The data beat analyst expectations for a flat jobs report.
The total number of unemployed remained at 13.9 million, relatively unchaged from June. Both May and June job gains were revised upward; May increased from +25,000 to +53,000 and June went from +18,000 to +46,000.
Total private employment rose by 154,000, which was partially offset by a drop of 37,000 jobs in the government category. A loss of 23,000 jobs at the state government level was due primarily to a partial shutdown of government in the state of Minnesota during the month, the Labor Department said.
Job gains came in health care (+31,000), retail (+26,000), manufacturing (+24,000), professional and technical services (+18,000), and mining (+9,000). Employment in construction, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality was flat with June.
The labor force participation rate fell to 63.9% and the employment-population ratio was little changed at 58.1%. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (involuntary part-timeworkers) was flat with June at 8.4 million. The number of people marginally attached to the labor force, which is not included in total number of unemployed because they had not searched for a job in the past four weeks, was unchanged from June at 2.8 million. Among them, 1.1 million were classified as discouraged workers, those who have given up looking for a job.
Average hourly non-farm earnings increased by 10 cents, or 0.4%, to $23.13.Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings are up 2.3%.
As is typically the case, the highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 15% was reported among those lacking a high school education, up from 14.3% in June. Among that cohort, the labor force participation rate was a dismal 46.9% and the employment-to-population ratio and even more dismal 39.9%.
The jobless rate among high school grads dropped from 10% in June to 9.3% in July, with the participation rate as 60.6% and the employment/population ratio at 54.9%. The rate for workers with some college slipped back from 8.4% to 8.3%; the participation rate was 68.9% and the employment/population ratio 63.2%.
The rate for college graduates and above dropped marginally from 4.4% to 4.3%, while the participation rate dropped from 76.8% to 76.1% and the employment/population ratio slipped from 73.4% to 72.9%.