United States Unemployment

United States

United States: Payroll growth solid but unemployment unchanged at 5.3%

August 7, 2015

Non-farm payrolls grew by 215,000 in July, which was below June’s upward revised increase of 231,000 (previously reported: +223,000). July’s result just beat market expectations of a 213,000 increase and suggests that the economy is recovering at a modest pace. It is unclear if this result will give the Fed sufficient confidence as it considers the possibility of making an initial interest rate hike in September.

The private sector was almost entirely responsible for new hiring, having added 210,000 jobs in July. The largest gains were registered in professional business services and retail trade. The public sector added 5,000 jobs in July.

The unemployment rate—derived from a different survey—held at June’s 5.3% in July. The print was in line with market expectations. While the unemployment rate remained within the Fed’s target zone of 5.2%-5-5%, the labor participation rate is still low and average hourly earnings increased only 0.2% percent over the previous month.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 5.5% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2016, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 5.2%.

Author:, Economist

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United States Unemployment Chart

USA Unemployment July 2015

Note: Month-on-month variation of non-farm payrolls in thousands and unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted in %.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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