The U.S. economy added only 163,000 jobs in July, moving the nation's unemployment rate up again to 8.3 percent. While the net gain to nonfarm payrolls was an improvement after three months of weak job creation, the July numbers registered the highest unemployment rate since February.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning that private companies accounted for all of the growth in July payrolls, adding 172,000 jobs during the month. The health care industry added 12,000. But governments continue to shed workers, dropping 9,000 positions in July. The federal workforce shrank by 2,000.
Average earnings edged up by two cents to $23.52 an hour, while the average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours.