Employers added 163,000 jobs last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, but the unemployment rate nevertheless increased a tenth of a percentage point to 8.3 percent.
The private sector added 172,000 jobs last month, but those gains were partially offset by losses in the public sector. The economy has added private sector jobs for 29 straight months, for a total of 4.5 million jobs in that period.
“While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” said Alan Kruegman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, on the White House blog. “It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”
Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, pointed to the uptick in the unemployment rate. “Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a blow to struggling middle-class families,” he said. “Americans deserve better and we can do better.”
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 by 14,000 jobs.
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 adding 25,000 jobs, 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, adding 5,000 jobs.
Employment continued to trend up in health care in July by 12,000 jobs, with over-the-month gains in outpatient care centers, adding 4,000 jobs, and in hospitals adding 5,000 jobs. Employment also continued to trend up in wholesale trade.
Utilities employment declined in July by 8,000 jobs. 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.
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