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163,000 Jobs Added In July; Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.3 Percent

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
August 3, 2012

There were 163,000 more jobs on public and private payrolls last month, but the nation’s unemployment rate edged up to 8.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

The jobs gain was the best in five months and was much better than the revised estimated of growth for June — a gain of just 64,000 jobs. But it wasn’t good enough to keep the jobless rate from rising slightly. In June, it stood at 8.2 percent.

We’ll have more from the report, reactions to it and analyses as the morning continues. Click your “refresh” button to make sure you’re seeing our latest updates.

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET. Some Early Analyses:

– “The latest payroll numbers are encouraging after three months of weak job creation, but the figures still aren’t enough to lower the unemployment rate, and hiring remains well below the pace set at the start of the year.” (The Wall Street Journal)

– “Uneven hiring may hold back consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, as a global slowdown and impending U.S. tax changes weigh on businesses.” (Bloomberg News)

– Though job growth picked up, the increase in the unemployment rate means that investors will still be anticipating some type of move by the Federal Reserve to give the economy a boost. (Reuters)

Update at 8:52 a.m. ET. News Was Basically Better Than Expected:

As we reported earlier, economists had expected to hear that 100,000 jobs were added to payrolls. They also thought BLS would say the jobless rate had remained 8.2 percent.

Update at 8:48 a.m. ET. Fewer “Discouraged” Workers:

One reason the unemployment rate can rise even as more jobs are added to payrolls is that if more people decide to start looking for work again that adds to the size of the labor force. One way to measure that type of change is to look at “discouraged workers” — those who aren’t looking for jobs because they don’t think there are any to find.

According to BLS, “there were 852,000 discouraged workers in July, a decline of 267,000 from a year earlier.” That could be a sign of increased optimism about the labor market.

Update at 8:42 a.m. ET. Job Growth Averaging Around 150,000 A Month:

According to BLS, “since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.”

At that pace, however, there aren’t enough new jobs being added to bring down the unemployment rate. It has stayed in a narrow range — from 8.1 percent to 8.3 percent — this year. The rate recently peaked at 10 percent in October 2009. It hasn’t been below 8 percent since January 2009.

Update at 8:38 a.m. ET. June Jobs Gain Revised Down:

When BLS first reported about the month of June, it estimated there had been 80,000 jobs added to payrolls. Now, it puts the gain that month at 64,000. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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