Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.3 Percent; 163,000 New Jobs Created in July

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the United States rose to 8.3 percent in July, with the economy adding a net of 163,000 jobs, according to estimates calculated by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of jobs added was more than expected, but was not enough to keep up with new entrants into the job market, reinforcing conclusions that the U.S. economy is stagnant. With overall economic growth slowing, weak employment numbers could indicate that the U.S. is following other industrial economies on a downward path back into recession. June's job number was revised down from 80,000 new jobs to 64,000.

Earlier this week, new claims for jobless benefits had risen to 365,000--slightly lower than expectations--while the private sector added 163,000 jobs in July, well ahead of expectations but down from the previous month. Manufacturing output fell again in July, after falling in June for the first time in three years. Surveys of economists had predicted that the unemployment rate would remain unchanged at 8.2 percent, with 95,000 to 100,000 new jobs created. It was thought that only a positive, unexpected development could lower the rate. Despite the growth in jobs--the highest in five months--the slow economy could not lower the overall jobless rate.


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