Newly released figures from the Labor Department have shed further light on the complicated employment situation in the U.S. The overall employment rate in July stood at 8.3 percent, a small but notable uptick from June's rate of 8.2 percent. This occurred despite the fact that 163,000 jobs were added during the month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS' figures, when broken down by individual categories of the U.S. labor force, largely mirrored the overall rise in employment, either remaining unchanged from June or increasing slightly. Only one such category posted a July decrease in unemployment, as the rate for men 20 years and older dropped to 7.7 percent from 7.8 the previous month.
In spite of the spike in the unemployment rate, Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, spoke positively of the outlook for U.S. jobs in a statement.
"While there is more work that remains to be done, today's employment rate provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Krueger said.
Among American service industries, the overall picture appears to be a positive one. Bloomberg reports that the Institute for Supply Management's index of non-manufacturing activity increased to 52.6 in July from 52.1 the month before, in contrast to economists' projections that the index would remain static.
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