Unemployment rate sees little change
WASHINGTON (Aug. 1, 2014) — Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction.
Both the unemployment rate (6.2 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (9.7 million) changed little in July. Over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons have declined by 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women increased to 5.7 percent and the rate for blacks edged up to 11.4 percent in July, following declines for both groups in the prior month. The rates for adult men (5.7 percent), teenagers (20.2 percent), whites (5.3 percent), and Hispanics (7.8 percent) showed little or no change in July. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.2 million in July. These individuals accounted for 32.9 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.1 million.
The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, changed little in July. The participation rate has been essentially unchanged since April. The employment-population ratio, at 59.0 percent, was unchanged over the month but has edged up by 0.3 percentage point over the past 12 months.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 7.5 million, was unchanged 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, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 236,000 from a year earlier. (The 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 741,000 discouraged workers in July, down by 247,000 from a year earlier. (The 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 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, the same as its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. In July, employment grew in professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction.
Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in July and has added 648,000 jobs over the past 12 months. In July, employment continued to trend up across much of the industry, including a gain of 9,000 jobs in architectural and engineering services. Employment in temporary help services changed little over the month.
Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in July. Job gains occurred in motor vehicles and parts (+15,000) and in furniture and related products (+3,000). Over the prior 12 months, manufacturing had added an average of 12,000 jobs per month, primarily in durable goods industries.
In July, retail trade employment rose by 27,000. Employment continued to trend up in automobile dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores. Over the past year, retail trade has added 298,000 jobs.
Employment in construction increased by 22,000 in July. Within the industry, employment continued to trend up in residential building and in residential specialty trade contractors. Over the year, construction has added 211,000 jobs.
Social assistance added 18,000 jobs over the month and 110,000 over the year. (The social assistance industry includes child day care and services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.) Employment in health care changed little over the month, with job gains in ambulatory health care services (+21,000) largely offset by losses in hospitals (-7,000) and nursing care facilities (-6,000).
Mining added 8,000 jobs in July, with the bulk of the increase occurring in support activities for mining (+6,000). Over the year, mining employment has risen by 46,000.
Employment in leisure and hospitality changed little in July but has added 375,000 jobs over the year, primarily in food services and drinking places.
Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change in July.
In July, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours for the fifth straight month. The manufacturing workweek decreased by 0.2 hour in July to 40.9 hours, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.7 hours for the fifth consecutive month.
In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 1 cent to $24.45. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0 percent. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.61.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +224,000 to +229,000, and the change for June was revised from +288,000 to +298,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June were 15,000 higher than previously reported.