Economy adds 162,000 jobs in July, unemployment falls to 7.4 percent

U.S. bureau of labor statisticsRecent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in July, and unemployment fell to 7.4 percent.

Employment in retail, food services, financial activities and wholesale trade increased for the month. The number of long-term unemployed individuals, however, remained little changed at 4.2 million.

The retail industry added 47,000 jobs last month, while food and beverage services employment increased by 38,000. Financial activities employment increased by 15,000 in July, and employment in wholesale trade increased by 14,000.

Employment in healthcare remained little changed from June, and employment in other major industries, including logging, construction, transportation, government and warehousing also showed little change. Employment in manufacturing remained unchanged in July, a trend seen consistently over the past 12 months.

“Contrary to the record increases on Wall Street, employment continues to be a lagging indicator of the recovering economy,” National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Despite the underwhelming and discouraging job gains in July, NRF expects the economy to pick up in the third and fourth quarters. The employment trend is positive, yet lackluster.”

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