Unemployment Inches Up to 8.3%

Professional and business services employment increased by
49,000 over the month. Computer systems design added 7,000 jobs,
and employment in temporary help services continued to trend up

In July, food services and drinking places added 29,000
jobs. Employment in this industry has grown by 292,000 over the
past 12 months.

Manufacturing employment rose by 25,000 in July. The motor
vehicles and parts industry had fewer seasonal layoffs than is
typical for July, contributing to a seasonally adjusted
employment increase of 13,000. Employment continued to trend up
in fabricated metal products (+5,000).

Health care employment continued to trend up in July
(+12,000). Over the past 2 months, job growth in health care
averaged 12,000 per month, compared with job gains averaging
28,000 per month during the 12 months ending in May.

Employment in utilities decreased by 8,000 in July,
reflecting a labor-management dispute. (In the establishment
survey, workers who are off payroll for the entire pay period
that includes the 12th of the month are not counted as employed.)

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 2 cents in July to $23.52. Over the past
12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7 percent.
From June 2011 to June 2012, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.7 percent.

Turning now to data from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate, at 8.3 percent, and the number of unemployed
persons, at 12.8 million, were essentially unchanged in July.
The labor force participation rate, at 63.7 percent, and the
employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little over
the month. These indicators have shown little movement thus far
in 2012.

Among persons who were neither working nor looking for work
in July, 2.5 million were classified as marginally attached to
the labor force, down 256,000 from a year earlier. These
individuals 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. The number of discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached, was 852,000 in
July, also down from a year earlier.

In summary, payroll employment rose in July (+163,000). The
unemployment rate, at 8.3 percent, was essentially unchanged.