The July jobs report came in a bit light Friday, but still indicated that the pace of hiring is gaining traction.
Payroll growth came in below expectations, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked up, but upward revisions to the last two months took much of the sting out of the miss.
Furthermore, the latest jobs report showed that hiring has now topped 200,000 a month for six straight months — a feat the economy hasn’t managed to pull off 1997.
Payrolls expanded by 209,000 last month, the Department of Labor said Friday in the July jobs report, which came short of economics’ expectations for job growth of anywhere from 227,000 to as much as 250,000.
The unemployment rate, which is derived from a separate survey, rose to 6.2% from 6.1% a month ago.
The July jobs report is the latest piece of data to help confirm that the economy is finally accelerating after years of extremely sluggish, post-recession growth. On Wednesday, a reading on gross domestic product showed the economy expanded at a 4% annualized pace in the second quarter.
However, as always, whether folks actually landed jobs greatly depended on the industry they were targeting. Here’s a look into the July jobs report:
July Jobs Report: Industry Highlights
Drilling down into the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July Employment Situation Report showed areas of strength in professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction.
Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in July, led by architectural and engineering services. The industry has now added 648,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in July. Top areas for job-seekers included motor vehicles and parts, and in furniture and related products. Manufacturing has added an average of 12,000 jobs a month over the last year, thanks mostly to durable goods.
Retail trade continued to be an area of job growth, adding 27,000 to payrolls in July. Top places for new jobs included automobile dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores. Retail has added 298,000 jobs a month over the last 12 months.
A pickup in construction hiring likewise helped the job market. The industry saw payrolls expand by 22,000 in July, led by residential building and in residential specialty trade contractors.
On the other side of the July jobs report, there were pockets of labor-market weakness in several major industry subsectors.
Within the retail industry, payrolls contracted at sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores by 3,400. Gas stations lost 1,200 jobs.
In another area of weakness, motion picture and sound recording industries shed 3,500 workers from payrolls. Broadcasting, except Internet, lost 2,100 positions.
Financial activities likewise had some no-go areas for job-seekers. Within credit intermediation and related activities, payrolls contracted by 2,900. Depository credit intermediation lost 3,900 jobs.
Nondurable goods were another area of weakness, as payrolls fell by 2,000. The worst places for job-seekers in the industry included food manufacturing, and paper and related products.
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