Job Growth Eases, But Economy Grows

Washington — The labor market cooled in July, with the economy adding 209,000 net new jobs and the unemployment rate ticking up to 6.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

Still, the economy had another solid month of job growth, topping 200,000 for the sixth straight month. That hasn’t happened since the dot-com boom in 1997.

The Labor Department also revised up slightly the job growth figures from May and June by a total of 15,000 positions. That means the economy has added an average of 245,000 net new jobs over the past three months.

Job growth was expected to slow in July after a robust 288,000 net new jobs in June. That figure was revised upward Friday to 298,000.

But the July figure fell below economists’ forecasts of 233,000 net new jobs. They also had expected the unemployment rate to hold steady at 6.1 percent.

The labor force participation rate remained at 62.9 percent in July, near an all-time low.

The jobs data followed a government report this week that the economy surged in the second quarter of the year, growing at a robust 4 percent annual rate.

Much of that growth came from consumers and businesses catching up on activity lost during a harsh winter in which the economy sharply contracted at a 2.1 percent annual rate.

— Los Angeles Times

But the second-quarter rebound was consistent with economists’ expectations that the recovery would regain momentum, and many expect about 3 percent growth the rest of the year.


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