On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added just 162,000 new jobs last month.
The number of new non-farm hires for July fell well below the 183,000 new jobs that economists had forecast. The government said the nation’s unemployment rate slipped to 7.4% last month, its lowest level since December 2008. However, more workers left the workforce during the month, accounting for some of that drop, the Wall Street Journal noted.
Factories added 6,000 new workers last month. Retailers, food service providers and financial service providers also increased their workforces. Government jobs, by contrast, contracted by 2,000.
Payrolls for May and June were also revised downward by 26,000 jobs.
The average wage dipped 2 cents an hour, falling to $23.98 last month, with the average work week slipping to 34.4 hours, down 0.1 hours.
Analyst said that the weaker-than-expected employment numbers indicated that the economy continues to struggle to produce new jobs.
The lackluster report could also prompt the Federal Reserve to postpone plans to reduce its monthly bond-buying later this year.