Unemployment Rate Remains Unchanged in July

In its July update of the employment situation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 215,000 in July and that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.3 percent.

The number of unemployed persons (8.3 million) was also unchanged during the month. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.9 percentage point and 1.4 million, respectively.

Among the unemployed, the number of new entrants decreased by 107,000 in July. New entrants are unemployed persons who never previously worked.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) did not have a significant change, holding steady at 2.2 million, accounting for 26.9 percent of the total unemployed population. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 986,000.

The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.6 percent in July, after declining by 0.3 percentage point in June. The employment-population ratio, at 59.3 percent, was also unchanged in July and has shown little movement thus far this year.

Employment in financial activities rose by 17,000 in July and has risen by 156,000 over the past 12 months. Insurance carriers and related activities accounted for more than half of the gain in July (+10,000) and over the year (+85,000).

In July, manufacturing employment edged up (+15,000). Employment in nondurable goods rose by 23,000 over the month, including gains in food manufacturing (+9,000) and in plastics and rubber products (+6,000).

Employment in transportation and warehousing also continued to trend up in July (+14,000) and has risen by 146,000 over the year.

Mining employment continued to fall in July (-5,000). Since a recent high in December 2014, employment in the industry has declined by 78,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, information and government, showed little change over the month.

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Terry Mulreany
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