The economic recovery keeps marching on, slowly but surely.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest jobs report on Friday morning, and it showed continued improvement — with 209,000 non-farm jobs added. That means that for the first time since 1997, the economy has added 200,000 or more jobs in six straight months.
That said, 209,000 was slightly below economist expectations of 230,000, and the unemployment rate actually ticked up slightly to 6.2%, from 6.1% in June.
The report also revised up the past two months of gains. 298,000 jobs were added in June (vs. the original estimate of 288,000) and 229,000 in May (up from 224,000). Another promising sign: labor force participation grew slightly, from 62.8% to 62.9%. That indicates more working-age people are either working or looking for a job, a rate that has fallen precipitously during the economic downturn.
The biggest industry gainer was professional and business services, which added 47,000 jobs. Manufacturing (28,000), retail trade (27,000), and construction (22,000) saw the next-largest gains.
There’s little expectation that this report will cause the Federal Reserve to change course and raise interest rates. Average hourly earnings, one important sign the Fed is watching, rose only 1 cent in July.
This article was written by Brian Solomon from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Learn more about SmartRecruiters, your workspace to find and hire great people.