United States unemployment dropped slightly in July to 7.4
percent, but the addition of 162,000 jobs overall in the month was
lower than expected and considered a disappointing total. Hiring
was strongest in the retail trade, food and drink services and
professional services sectors, but other important industries such
as manufacturing and construction saw little to no growth.

The official figure came in almost 40,000 jobs lower than most
analysts had predicted, as initial estimates pegged growth for the
month to be around 200,000. While continued growth has stayed in
line with recent months, May and June figures were also revised
downward by 26,000 jobs.

“Overall this is not a strong labor report,” Navy Federal Credit
Union economist Alan MacEachin told the Washington Post, adding
that the data was “consistent with a sluggish, lackluster

July 2013Job growth was highest in the retail
trade industry, where 47,000 jobs were added, contributing to
overall growth of 352,000 jobs in the sector over the past year.
Employment in food services and drinking places grew by 38,000,
while wholesale trade saw 14,000 additional jobs.

Financial activities grew by 15,000 jobs in July, with 6,000
added in the securities, commodity contracts and investments
sectors. Professional and business services saw an additional
36,000 jobs with company management and management in technical
consulting services each growing by 7,000 positions.

Manufacturing and healthcare employment were both relatively
even over the month, both showing signs of slowing over the past
year. Motor vehicle and parts employment saw 9,000 additional jobs.
Other industries that saw employment hold steady included mining
and logging, construction, transportation, warehousing and

Part-time employment in the month rose by 174,000 jobs, evidence
that many people chose to take less than full-time positions
because of fewer options in the market or a reduction of hours.
Discouraged workers, who aren’t currently looking for employment
because they do not believe options are currently available to
them, rose to 988,000 in the month, an increase of 136,000 from one
year prior.

Lower-than-expected unemployment numbers are not projected to
affect improving prospects for the economy, which should see growth
of an average of 2.5 percent during the second half of the year,
according to Bloomberg. Gross domestic product grew by 1.7 percent
from April through June, a rise of .6 percent from the first
quarter of the year.

Hourly nonfarm payroll employment fell by two cents in July
after a 10 cent increase in June. Overall earnings have risen by
1.9 percent or 44 cents during the period.

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