United States: Unemployment inches down for the first time in four months
August 5, 2011
In July, nonfarm payrolls increased by 117,000. The figure came in above the 46,000 jobs added in June (previously reported: 25,000) and overshot market expectations, which had payrolls rising by 75,000. As in previous months, the private sector was entirely responsible for new hiring and added 154,000 jobs, which also exceeded market expectations of 108,000. In contrast, the public sector shed 37,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate inched down over the previous month to 9.1% (June: 9.2%), which marked the first decline in four months. The moderation reflected a stronger-than-expected payroll increase but also a drop in the participation rate, which fell to its lowest level in 28 years. The economy lost a total of 7.4 million jobs during the recession, which officially was from December 2007 and June 2009. Since then, the economy has added just 600,000 new jobs and is not expected to make a major comeback in the coming quarters.