US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall unemployment rate fell by one tenth of a percent in July, to 4.3 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 4.9 percent a year ago in July 2016.

The civilian labor force participation rate again rose by one tenth of a percent in July, to 62.9 percent. The labor force participation rate has not changed significantly since late 2013.

The employment-population ratio rose by one tenth of a percent to 60.1 percent in June. The employment-population ratio has been steadily increasing since July 2011 and more significantly since October 2013.*

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 209,000 in July. The payroll employment numbers for both May and June of 2017 were adjusted. Employment gains for those months are now 2,000 more than previously reported.

The unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree remained steady at 2.4 percent in July. The rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree has not significantly changed since March 2015.

*It should be noted that as of January 2016, updated population estimates are being utilized when calculating employment data. BLS did not modify previous months utilizing the new estimates, so if comparing data from 2016 to earlier months, understand that there will be slight differences in the way the data was derived.

Some details directly from the BLS report:


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, and health care. Employment growth has averaged 184,000 per month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly gain in 2016 (+187,000).

Employment in food services and drinking places rose by 53,000 in July. The industry has added 313,000 jobs over the year.

Professional and business services added 49,000 jobs in July, in line with its average monthly job gain over the prior 12 months.

In July, health care employment increased by 39,000, with job gains occurring in ambulatory health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+7,000). Health care has added 327,000 jobs over the past year.

Employment in mining was essentially unchanged in July (+1,000). From a recent low in October 2016 through June, the industry had added an average of 7,000 jobs per month.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours in July. In manufacturing, the workweek was also unchanged at 40.9 hours, and overtime remained at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.7 hours for the fourth consecutive month.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.36. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.10.