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You are Here: Home > Blog > Unemployment Rate – July 2017

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Unemployment Rate – July 2017

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Job growth in July exceeded the expectations of analysts, while the unemployment rate edged down.

According to the most recent monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the private sector netted 205,000 nonfarm job gains in July. Local, state and federal governments gained 4,000 jobs, resulting in 209,000 total net job gains. Analysts had expected a total of around 180,000 job gains.

After BLS revisions, May and June combined showed 2,000 more jobs than the BLS initially reported for the two months. Job gains have averaged 195,000 per month in the past three months. Throughout this year, job gains have averaged 184,000 per month. That’s in line with the average monthly gain in 2016 of 187,000 jobs per month.

Food services and drinking places (53,000), professional and business services (49,000), and health care (39,000) experienced the most-significant job gains in July (job gains shown in parenthesis). Other major industries showed little change.

The unemployment rate in July dropped slightly from 4.4 to 4.3 percent.

The average hourly wage for all private-sector employees showed a monthly gain, rising by 9 cents to $26.36 after a 4-cent increase in June. The average hourly wage increased by 6 cents to $22.10 for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, after a 4-cent increase in June.

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Unemployment Rate 2016-2017
Unemployment Rate Chart 2016 to 2017

The unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 percent in July, even though more unemployed workers entered or re-entered the job market. The total number of workers that the BLS counted as unemployed in July was 7.0 million, the same as in June.

The count of unemployed workers does not include those who are involuntarily working only part time and with fewer benefits, if any, such as no health insurance, because they can’t find full-time jobs or employers cut their work hours. The number of involuntarily part-timers in July was 5.3 million, the same as in June.

The average workweek in July for all part-timers and full-timers in the private sector was 34.5 hours, the same as in June.

The unemployment rate also does not include “marginally-attached” unemployed workers. The BLS does not count them in the official rate because they stopped looking for work in the four weeks preceding the count, for reasons such as school attendance, family matters or their collective perception that there simply are no jobs — at least not for them.

The number of marginally-attached workers in July was 1.6 million, the same as in June. Among the marginally-attached, 536,000 were so-called “discouraged workers” because they gave up looking for work due to their shared perception that there are no jobs. That was up by 22,000 from June. (The BLS does not seasonally adjust any of the figures in this paragraph.)

The number of long-term unemployed workers, those who have been without jobs for 27 weeks or longer, was 1.7 million in July, the same as in June. These workers accounted for 25.9 percent of unemployed workers in July. Standard state unemployment benefits last only up to 26 weeks without extensions.

If you are a recent victim of a job loss or a reduction in work hours, then you might be eligible to collect full or partial unemployment benefits from the state unemployment office. You might also be eligible to continue your employer-provided group health insurance coverage through COBRA.

For more details about the July 2017 unemployment rate and job numbers, see the “Employment Situation Summary” by the BLS. The BLS plans to report the August 2017 unemployment rate and job numbers on Friday, September 1. To receive notification like the above automatically, subscribe to Employee Rights Blog for free.

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Except where otherwise noted, figures in this unemployment rate report were rounded and/or seasonally adjusted by the BLS, and are subject to revision by same (based on additional data that was not initially available). The unemployment rate chart pictured above was provided by the BLS.

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