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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

                            Statement of

                          William W. Beach
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                       Friday, August 2, 2019

      Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in July, 
and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. Notable 
job gains occurred in professional and technical services, 
health care, social assistance, and financial activities. 
      The July increase in payroll employment was in line with 
the average monthly job gain in the first half of the year 
(+165,000), but below the average monthly job gain of 223,000 
for 2018. (Incorporating revisions for May and June, which 
decreased employment by 41,000, monthly job gains have averaged 
140,000 over the past 3 months.) 
      Employment in professional and technical services rose by 
31,000 in July; the industry has added 300,000 jobs over the 
past 12 months. Employment in computer systems design and 
related services rose by 11,000 over the month. Although it 
represents about one-fourth of the jobs in professional and 
technical services, computer systems design accounted for about 
one-third of the job growth in professional and technical 
services both over the month and over the year.
      Health care added 30,000 jobs in July, in line with average 
monthly job growth over the prior 12 months. The July gains 
occurred almost entirely in ambulatory health care services 
(+29,000), notably in home health care (+11,000).
      In July, employment in social assistance rose by 20,000, 
mostly in individual and family services (+13,000). Over the 
year, social assistance has added 143,000 jobs.
      Financial activities employment grew by 18,000 in July. 
Within the industry, insurance carriers and related activities 
added 11,000 jobs.
      Mining employment declined by 5,000 in July, after showing 
little net change in recent months. 
      Employment in manufacturing changed little in July 
(+16,000). Thus far this year, job growth in the industry has 
been markedly slower than in 2018. Employment growth in 
manufacturing has averaged 8,000 per month through July of this 
year, compared with 22,000 per month in 2018. The manufacturing 
workweek declined by 0.3 hour to 40.4 hours in July and is down 
by 0.6 hour since a recent peak in August 2018. Manufacturing 
hours are at their lowest point since November 2011. In July, 
factory overtime edged down by 0.2 hour to 3.2 hours.
      Construction employment was essentially flat in July 
(+4,000). Thus far this year, job growth in construction has 
slowed to an average of 15,000 per month, compared with 26,000 
per month in 2018. 
      Employment changed little over the month in other major 
industries--including wholesale trade, retail trade, 
transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and 
hospitality, and government.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 8 cents in July to $ 27.98, following an 8-cent 
gain in June. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings 
have risen by 3.2 percent; the over-the-year percent change has 
been 3.0 percent or above for 12 consecutive months. From June 
2018 to June 2019, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban 
Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.7 percent (on a seasonally 
adjusted basis).
      Turning to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent in July, and the 
number of unemployed people was little changed at 6.1 million. 
The unemployment rate has been 4.0 percent or lower since March 
      Among the unemployed, the number of people looking for work 
for less than 5 weeks rose by 240,000 in July to 2.2 million. 
This was offset by a decline in the number of people searching 
for work for 27 weeks or more, which fell by 248,000 to 1.2 
million. These long-term unemployed accounted for 19.2 percent 
of the unemployed.
      Both the labor force participation rate, at 63.0 percent in 
July, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.7 percent, were 
little changed over the month and over the year.
      In July, 4.0 million people were working part time for 
economic reasons, down by 363,000 over the month and by 604,000 
over the year. These involuntary part-time workers accounted for 
2.5 percent of the employed in July, down from 2.9 percent a 
year earlier.
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in July, 
1.5 million were considered marginally attached to the labor 
force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (People who 
are marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for 
work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were 
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 
months.) Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 
368,000 in July, down by 144,000 from a year earlier.
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 
in July, and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent.

Last Modified Date: August 02, 2019