The number of Americans not in the labor force declined but still topped 94 million last month, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 94,333,000 Americans were neither employed nor had made an effort to find work in July — down 184,000 compared to the month prior.
The labor force participation rate also increased slightly, hitting 62.8 percent in July.
While tens of millions of Americans were out of the workforce — due to discouragement, schooling, retirement or otherwise — and the participation rate remained at levels not seen since the 1970s the BLS reported a relatively decent level of job growth.
According to the government data, last month the economy added 255,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent.
The labor force also grew by 407,000 people, reaching 159,287,000. Of those participating in the labor force, 151,517,000 were employed and 7,770 were unemployed.
Broken down by gender, the unemployment rate and participation rate for working-age men was 5.0 percent and 69.2 percent, respectively. Among working-age women the unemployment rate was 4.7 and participation rate was 56.8 percent.
Among whites last month, the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent and the participation rate was 62.9 percent. Black unemployment was 8.4 percent with a participation rate of 61.2 percent. Asian unemployment was 3.8 percent and the participation was 63.4 percent and Hispanic unemployed was 5.4 percent with a 65.8 percent participation rate.