The US economy created 187,000 jobs in July, in line with the June data but slightly below economists’ forecasts. For its part, the unemployment rate fell one tenth to 3.5% percent, as published this Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
“Job creation was concentrated in health care, social assistance, financial activities and wholesale trade,” according to the survey, which measures nonfarm employment, hours and wages by industry.
Wall Street’s reaction to the data was mixed. On the one hand, the futures on the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq indexes increase the rise in the hour before the opening of the market, with a rise from 0.15% to 0.5%. On the other hand, the yield on the US 10-year bond registered a slight decrease to 4.17% due to the purchases of investors who see the new labor figure as an indicator of slowdown.
Both the unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed of 5.8 million people, changed little in July from the previous month. The unemployment rate has hovered between 3.4% and 3.7% since March 2022, when the Federal Reserve (Fed) began raising interest rates to curb demand and cool inflation.
“Unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teens (11.3 percent), whites (3.1 percent), blacks (5.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no change during the month”, according to the categories of the report of the statistical authority of the USA.
Among the unemployed, the number of people temporarily unemployed fell by 175,000 to 667,000 in July. The number of people who lost permanent jobs was little changed at 1.4 million.
The number of long-term unemployed (those out of work for 27 weeks or more) also held steady at 1.2 million in July and accounted for 19.9 percent of all the unemployed. The labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent for the fifth consecutive month.
The employment-to-population ratio, at 60.4 percent, remained almost unchanged in July. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons stood at 4.0 million. “These people, who would have preferred full-time employment, went to work part-time because their hours had been reduced or they couldn’t find full-time jobs,” he says.
The number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.2 million in July, little changed from the previous month. “These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks prior to the survey or were not available to take a job,” the BLS states.