WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.4 percent in July.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged
down to 7.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in
retail trade, food services and drinking places, financial activities, and wholesale trade.
Household Survey Data
Both the number of unemployed persons, at 11.5 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.4 percent, edged down in July. Over the year, these measures were down by 1.2 million and 0.8 percentage point, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (6.5 percent) and blacks
(12.6 percent) declined in July. The rates for adult men (7.0 percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), whites (6.6 percent), and Hispanics (9.4 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little
changed at 4.2 million. These individuals accounted for 37.0 percent of the unemployed. The
number of long-term unemployed has declined by 921,000 over the past year.
The civilian labor force participation rate was 63.4 percent in July, little changed over the
month. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 58.7 percent.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.2 million in July. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In July, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 988,000 discouraged workers in July, up by 136,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.