Today's Bureau of Labor Statistics release of July employment data brought welcome news: the nation gained 163,000 jobs, following three months of lackluster growth. Overall, the private sector posted a gain of 172,000 jobs, while government dropped 9,000.
Nonfarm businesses reported advances in professional and business services (+49,000), led by computer systems design and temporary services. Leisure and hospitality (+27,000) was boosted by food service and drinking places, while manufacturing (+25,000) growth was driven by durable goods production. Health care (+12,000) was bolstered by hospitals and outpatient care centers.
The household survey revealed that July's seasonally adjusted jobless rate edged up to 8.3 percent, as the number of unemployed persons rose by 49,000 over the month. Since July 2011 the unemployment rate has dropped 0.8 percentage point, and the number of unemployed shrank by 1.1 million.