The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July jobs report, and reported that, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, 215,000 jobs were added in July and the unemployment rate remained at 5.3%. From the official release on employment:
Household Survey Data
In July, both the unemployment rate (5.3 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.3 million) were unchanged. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.9 percentage point and 1.4 million, respectively.
Pretty much every employment metric was unchanged, at least when rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent. The U-3 rate, labor force participation rate (62.6%) and employment-population ratio (59.3%) all remained unchanged, while the U-6 rate (including those who last looked for work between 5 and 52 weeks prior to mid-July and those working part-time due to economic reasons) ticked down by a rounded 0.1 percentage point to 10.4% due to fewer people being classified as part-time due to economic reasons. Rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent, however, the 0.02 percentage-point drop in the U-3 rate to 5.26% was caused by a 0.03 percentage-point drop in the participation rate, to 62.62%, a new post-October 1977 low. The 0.01 percentage-point drop in the employment-population ratio to 59.33% made July the second-weakest month of 2015, ahead of March’s 59.31%.
From the extended data files, among the “prime” workforce age group of 25-54 year olds, the not-seasonally-adjusted participation rate of 80.5%, down from 80.7% in July 2014, is the weakest July since 1984. The not-seasonally-adjusted employment-population ratio of 76.8%, while the best July of the Obama Presidency and 0.4 percentage points better than July 2014’s 76.4%, is weaker than every July from 1986 through 2008.
Continuing from the official release regarding payrolls:
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 215,000 in July, compared with an average monthly gain of 246,000 over the prior 12 months. In July, job gains occurred in retail trade, health care, professional and technical services, and financial activities.
Of those 215,000 jobs added, 210,000 were in the private sector. That compares favorably to the 185,000 private-sector job add reported by ADP on Wednesday, yet it fell short of the 220,000-230,000 new jobs expected by the experts.
For once, a significant number of the new jobs were not of the temporary variety. Indeed, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, temporary jobs decreased by 8,900 last month. Employment in the manufacture of non-durable goods ticked up by 23,000, employment in residential construction went up by 6,000, and the number of management jobs increased by 13,700. Average weekly earnings of all employees increased by $4.22 to $864.65.
The good news pretty much ends there. Employment in the manufacture of durable goods fell by 8,000, and once again much of the job gain came from the lower-paying sectors such as food and beverage stores (6,800), general merchandise stores (5,600), services to buildings (7.100), and food services/drinking places (29,300). Weekly pay for production and non-supervisory employees only increased by $1.01 to $708.04.
On a year-over-year, not-seasonally-adjusted basis, the 2,457,000 additional people who found work the past year, plus the 210,000 additional people working multiple jobs, came a bit closer to the reported 2,953,000 jobs added over the past year than that comparison in recent months, but the discrepancy is still 286,000.