The US economy shed 131,000 jobs in July, as weaker-than-expected private sector hiring cast doubt over the recovery.
Official figures showed job losses mounting for the second month running, following five consecutive months of gains from the start of the year. Some Wall Street analysts had predicted that payrolls would fall by 65,000 in July, leaving the month’s losses twice as severe as feared.
July nonfarm payrolls declined 131,000, more than the consensus estimate of -87,000. The prior month was revised to -221,000 from -125,000. Encouraging indicators include private payrolls of 71,000, hourly earnings that rose 0.2% (vs. estimates of 0.1%), and the average workweek rising to 34.2 (vs. estimates of 34.1).
Simply put, there is not enough jobs being created to put a dent in unemployment.
The official unemployment rate held steady at 9.5%, a further sign the economic recovery may be losing momentum.
The real unemployment rate stayed at 16.5%.