The U.S. Department of Labor released last month’s employment data and the official July 2012 unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.3 percent. Although the rate rose by .1 percent, 163,000 new jobs were added to the economy, significantly more than the revised figure of +64,000 jobs in June. The private sector has now realized positive job growth for 29 straight months.
Job gains were seen in the following sectors:
- Professional and business services (+49,000 jobs)
- Food services and drinking places (+29,000)
- Manufacturing (+25,000)
- Healthcare (+12,000)
An 8,000-job decline was seen in the utility industry but this was due to a labor dispute. However, these 8,000 workers were not on the payroll and thus officially considered unemployed.
While July’s job growth was stronger than June, the numbers are not going to provide a much needed kick start to the economy. The nation would need to average about 250,000 new jobs per month to drive the unemployment rate downward.