The number of jobs in the United States fell by 131,000 in July, leaving the unemployment rate flat at 9.5% compared to June and the number of unemployed persons unchanged, at 14.6 million, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday, August 6.
Federal government employment fell, as 143,000 temporary Census workers hired completed their work, and the private-sector payroll employment edged up by 71,000, the Labor Department reported in its July release.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast a slight rise in the jobs rate to 9.6%, with overall employment falling 65,000 and private-sector hiring increasing 90,000.
“The ‘Great Recession’ has officially morphed into the ‘Great Stall,’” said Steve Blitz, senior economist with New York-based Majestic Research, in an analyst note. “There are no signs in this morning’s report on July employment of building momentum for the second half of this year. If anything, there are more signs of a deteriorating labor situation–beginning with the sharp downward revision to June private payrolls from 83,000 to 31,000.”
Similarly, Robert Dye, senior economist for PNC Financial Services, Pittsburgh, said in a phone interview that the jobs report was not good news for the economy.
“It shows an economy that’s still struggling to make the transition into a self-sustaining expansion,” Dye said. “Private sector job creation has stepped down from earlier in the year and is being overwhelmed by losses on the government side.”