July BLS Report: 209,000 Jobs Added to US Economy

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Source: July 2014 BLS report

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its July 2014 unemployment report, which showed an additional 209,000 jobs created in nonfarm payroll employment. The unemployment rate saw a small increase, rising from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent.

July marks the sixth straight month in which we’ve seen gains of 200,000+ new jobs, confirming the continuation of positive economic growth in 2014. In the last year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons have declined by 1.1 percentage points, and 1.7 million, respectively.

Revisions to prior months showed that both May and June had seen growth of 15,000 more than previously reported. The June payroll number was revised from +288,000 to +298,000 and the May numbers were revised from +224,000 to +229,000.

A number of sectors showed impressive growth in July, including manufacturing (+28,000), retail trade (+26,700), health care and social assistance (+25,400), construction (+22,000), and food services and drinking places (+18,600). The professional and business services sector added 47,000 jobs in July (for a total of 648,000 jobs in the last year), with numerous sub-sectors showing positive gains, including administrative and support services (+14,900), management of companies and enterprises (+6,400), architectural and engineering services (+8,800) and temporary services (+8,500).

Taking revisions from the past three months, overall job growth has averaged 245,333 new jobs. This time last year, the increase in jobs was about 149,000, indicating that U.S. economic activity is continuing to improve.

While the data in the release shows many positive indicators, there are still a few bleak statistics. For the first time in three months, the labor participation rate — those who are employed and unemployed, but actively looking for work — increased from 62.8 percent to 62.9 percent. This number has essentially remained the same since April. The employment-population ratio, at 59 percent, has also seen little change over the month, but has edged up by 0.3 percentage points over the last year.

At Adecco, many of our clients are optimistic about hiring and have staff augmentation plans in place.