According to the BLS’ latest “The Employment Situation” report, the national economy generated 163,000 jobs in July, the first month in which more than 100,000 jobs were created since March.
The report’s findings exceeded a majority of economists’ projections. Prior to the release of the report, most economists had estimated that roughly 90,000 to 100,000 positions would be added to the economy.
Yet, despite the considerable upswing in hiring, the national unemployment rate rose on a month-to-month basis for the second time in 2012, climbing from 8.2 to 8.3 percent, a five-month high. The rate has now been measured at eight percent or higher for 42 consecutive months, the longest streak ever recorded.
At the same time, the national underemployment rate also increased, rising to a six-month high of 15 percent. The rate currently includes unemployed Americans, discouraged workers, individuals employed part-time for economic reasons, and citizens marginally attached to the labor force. In all, nearly 23 million Americans were underemployed in July.
The BLS also discovered that 16,000 less jobs were generated in June than originally reported. So far, the economy has added an average of 151,000 jobs per month this year. To significantly reduce the national unemployment rate, at least 250,000 jobs need to be created each month.
Since January, 1.1 million new jobs have been added to the economy, while the national unemployment rate has dropped by 0.9 percent throughout the past year. In addition, the average hourly earnings for all employees has risen from $23.29 in January to $23.52 in July, a sign that organizational spending is steadily increasing.