Economy Limps Forwards with 255K New Jobs

By Connor D. Wolf

The U.S. economy continued its slow but positive economic growth with the addition of 255,000 new jobs during the month of July, according to a federal report Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks a number of economic trends including job growth. It has found employment gains have been slow since the last recession with the monthly average sitting at 219,000 new jobs over the last year. The trend continued into the month of July.

“Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 255,000 in July,” the report detailed. “The unemployment rate held at 4.9 percent in July, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million. Both measures have shown little movement, on net, since August of last year.”

President Barack Obama was elected into office during of a severe economic downturn now known as the Great Recession. He has often touted his economic recovery as a success because unemployment is around per-recession levels. His analysis overlooks the labor force participation rate, which has been in a sharp decline since 2008.

The labor participation rate tracks the number of employed and those actively seeking work as a percentage of the total population. It changed little from the previous month and now sits at 62.8 percent. The participation rate factors in those who have suffered long term joblessness, unlike the unemployment rate.

Population growth has also outpaced gains in the labor and consumer markets in part because the slow recovery. The recession was sparked by the subprime mortgage crisis and the financial crisis of 2007. The president has blamed the slow recovery on Republicans, while praising the few successes on his agenda.

The economy has also suffered some recent drops to the already slow employment growth. It gained only 38,000 new jobs in May which sparked concern among federal officials and economists. Nevertheless, the following month bounced back to the monthly average seen in the past year.

Professional and business services saw the most significant increase of new jobs at 70,000 followed by health care and financial activities. Mining, however, continues to see a decline in employment by loosing 6,000 jobs. Mining has decreased by 220,000 jobs since reaching its peak in September 2014.

Average wages jumped by 7 cents and now sits at $21.59 in the month of July. Wages in recent months have shown slow, yet positive growth. The jobs report does not include farm workers, private household employees and nonprofits.

Connor Wolf discovered his love for writing and politics at a young age while growing up in Connecticut. He eventually had the chance to pursue his passions when entering the world of journalism. Since that time he has covered labor policy, business and financial regulations.

Originally published at on August 5, 2016.

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