Steady Pace of Hiring Continues in July

By Toni Vranjes

August 1, 2014

Employment in the U.S. expanded for another month, with business services dominating the scene.

The economy gained 209,000 new jobs in July, the Labor Department reported today. The unemployment rate increased slightly from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent, as 329,000 people entered the labor force.

up_arrow_6_pt_2The Labor Department revised job growth upward for May and June, showing 15,000 more jobs for both months than previously estimated. Over the past three months, employment growth has averaged 245,000 per month, noted Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica Groshen.

Professional and business services fared particularly well last month, adding 47,000 positions. Hiring in business services was broad-based, observed Mesirow Financial economist Diane Swonk in a blog post.

There were “strong gains in legal, accounting, engineering, architecture and consulting jobs instead of temporary hires alone,” she wrote. “This is particularly important for new college graduates as it suggests that the market for individuals with higher education is finally firming.”

In July, growth also occurred in manufacturing, retail trade, construction, social assistance, and mining.

Overall, the jobs picture is a little less sunny, but still fairly bright, according to economists.

“While not quite as good as the blockbuster report in June, the July employment report added more information to confirm that the economy is on track to grow at about a 3.0% rate in the second half of the year,” IHS Global Insight economist Doug Handler wrote in an analysis.

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