July’s Job Report brings mixed feelings, with an increase in job growth and the unemployment rate according to the latest Economic Situation Summary. The good news is that non-farm payroll rose by 163,000 jobs in July—a figure that nearly doubled June’s revised growth of 87,000 jobs. Although the number still sits well below this year’s first quarter average of 226,000 jobs per month, it certainly supports the notion that our economy is well on its way to making a slow, but steady recovery. The bad news, and rather surprising part, is that the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.3%, despite the added job growth.
The dual-sided nature of the latest Jobs Report will play an intricate role for both political parties now that elections are right around the corner. Democrats will focus on the gain in job growth to support the effectiveness of President Obama’s policies, while Republicans note the rising unemployment rate as a call for change.
The industries that saw the greatest job growth were professional and business services (49,000+), food services and drinking places (29,000+), and manufacturing (25,000+). Not surprising, temporary help services trended up by 14,000 jobs this past month. With a weak economy and the high cost of turnover an increasing number of businesses turn to staffing agencies like The Select Family of Staffing Companies, to increase productivity and flexibility and decrease costs.
The long-term unemployment number remains unchanged at 40%, as does the average work week, at 34.5 hours. The average earnings on the other hand edged up two cents to $23.52.