The unemployment rate fell slightly in July to 7.4%, as the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs. The number was short of the 184,000 jobs economists had predicted and far below the 202,000 average monthly gain for the first half of 2013.
The Labor Department also reduced its previous employment figures for May and June.
However, while the United States and much of the developed world continue to struggle with stagnant GDP and job growth, The Economist reported last week a similar picture is beginning to show up in emerging economies.
“This year will be the first in which emerging markets account for more than half of world GDP on the basis of purchasing power, according to the International Monetary Fund,” the periodical optimistically begins. “In 1990, they accounted for less than a third of a much smaller total.”
From 2003 to 2011, it notes, the share of world output provided by the emerging economies grew at more than a percentage point a year. The remarkably rapid growth the world has seen in these two decades marks the biggest economic transformation in modern history, and violating Sir John Templeton’s famous axiom, the magazine claims it will likely “never be seen again.”
Citing a recent study by Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler of the Washington-based think tank Peterson Institute, it adds that from 1960 to the late 1990s just 30% of countries in the developing world for which figures are available managed to increase their output per person faster than America did, thus achieving what is called “catch-up growth.”