Job Growth Continues Downward Trend in July

August 4, 2006 ( - The number of jobs added by US employers in July fell below expectations of analysts surveyed by Reuters, and the unemployment rate jumped up contrary to their expectations of no change.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 113,000 jobs in July, according to data from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The unemployment rate increased to 4.8% from 4.6% in June, still under the 2005 rate of 5%. Analysts hope the July numbers will cause the Federal Reserve to halt interest rate increases, according to Reuters.

Employment in professional and business services continued to grow in July, with 43,000 jobs added. Within the industry, temporary help services employment remained flat over the month and has shown little net change since January, according to a BLS news release.

Health care employment rose by 23,000 jobs in July, the release said. In leisure and hospitality industry, food services and drinking places, employment grew by 29,000 jobs during the month. Over the year, food services employers have added 229,000 jobs.

In the service-providing sector, employment in wholesale trade was flat in July after adding an average of 11,000 jobs per month from January through June. The level of employment in retail trade was static in July. However, general merchandise stores lost 8,000 jobs over the month.

In the goods-producing sector, mining employment grew by 8,000 jobs in July.  The industry has added 123,000 jobs since its most recent low in April 2003, according to BLS data.

Manufacturing employment edged down in July by 15,000 jobs. For the month, job losses in transportation equipment (-9,000), computer and electronic products (-8,000) and textile mills (-2,000) more than offset employment increases in machinery (+8,000) and chemicals (+4,000).

The BLS data is  here .