Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 163,000 in July, more than doubling June’s increase (which was revised down from 80,000 to 64,000), and is roughly in line with its average hiring pace (+151,000 a month) since the beginning of the year. 2012’s average monthly increase is essentially unchanged from its 2011 average monthly gain of 153,000. Private payroll growth was a shade stronger than the headline number, rising 172,000 in July, as government payrolls decreased by 9,000. Private payrolls have averaged a gain of 161,000 per month so far this year, but that’s slightly off its pace in 2011 of 175,000.
Goods-producing payrolls increased by 24,000 in July, compared to 13,000 in June, but that was entirely due to a 25,000 increase in manufacturing employment (mining and logging payrolls were flat and construction payrolls slipped 1,000). Consistent with the anecdotes we’ve heard on auto plants not shutting down to retool in July, the release noted about half of the seasonally-adjusted increase in manufacturing was in the autos sector. Private service-providing payrolls rose 148,000 in July, compared to a mere 60,000 in June, largely on employment gains in professional and business services (up 49,000, of which temporary help employment accounted for 14,000), education and health services (up 38,000), and leisure and hospitality (up 27,000). Within leisure and hospitality, most sectors actually posted slight declines or were flat. The category’s increase was driven entirely by food services and drinking places employment, which jumped up 29,000 in July following three consecutive monthly gains of less than 10,000.
On the household side of the report, the unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage point to 8.3 in July. Household employment slipped by 195,000 in July, slightly outpacing a 150,000 decrease in the labor force, which led to the slight uptick in the unemployment rate. That said, the total number of unemployed persons—at 12.8 million—is little changed from the beginning of the year. The labor force participation rate edged 0.1 percentage point lower in July to where it started the year at (63.7 percent). And, the employment-to-population ratio slipped down 0.2 percentage points to 58.4 percent in July, and has been oscillating around that level for the past two years.