Market Overview

National Unemployment Rate Falls In July: Is A Recovery Underway In Some Sectors?

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National Unemployment Rate Falls In July: Is A Recovery Underway In Some Sectors?

The national unemployment rate was 10.5% in July, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics said Friday. The number of unemployed people fell by 1.4 million to 16.3 million.

What Happened: The national unemployment rate decreased 0.9% from the reported 11.1% rate for the month of June.

Even with these recent declines, the unemployment rate is still 6.7% higher than in February, the BLS said. 

Why It’s Important:The unemployment rate was lower than some economist estimates of 11.5%, marking a continued — and slow — recovery.

Leisure and hospitality-related jobs increased by 592,000 during July, with food service employment also adding 502,000 jobs.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours in July. After modest changes over the last few months, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $29.39. 

Over 258,000 retail jobs were added in the month of July, with over half of these jobs being added in clothing and clothing accessory stores, the BLS said. 

"The worrisome elements remain the certainty of undercounting of job losers, and the large declines in labor market participation," Michael Hicks, an economics professor at Ball State University and director of Ball State's Center for Business Economic Research, told Benzinga in an email. 

Permanent job loss is still rising, while temporary losses seem to be back to normal levels, Hicks said. 

What's Next: National unemployment numbers for August will be released Friday, Sept. 4. 

 

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