U.S. Job Market Sputters in July

August 6, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 9.5%, but the U.S. economy continued to lose jobs in July. 


According to the Labor Department, the economy shed 131,000 jobs in July, though much of that was attributed to the cycling off of 143,000 temporary Census workers from federal payrolls (those workers had boosted employment numbers in previous months).  Private-sector employment grew by 71,000 in July after a downwardly revised 31,000 in June.  Overall, the Labor Department reported that there were 221,000 jobs lost in June, rather than the 125,000 originally reported.     


The Labor Department noted that thus far this year, private sector employment has increased by 630,000, with about two-thirds of the gain occurring in March and April. 


Government employment in July, not counting Census workers, fell by 59,000. 


Meanwhile, that steady unemployment rate was reportedly steady largely because people gave up hope of finding work and left the labor force, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Working Longer  

The jobs report also showed private-sector employers working their employees longer rather than hiring new ones, with aggregate weekly hours worked rising 0.3%. 


According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate for major worker groups in July was: 


  • 9.7% – adult men 
  • 7.9% – adult women 
  • 26.1% – teenagers 
  • 8.6% – whites 
  • 15.6% – blacks 
  • 12.1% – Hispanics 
  • 8.2% – Asians 


In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9% of unemployed persons, according to the Labor Department.