U.S. labor report: Jobs up, jobless rate down

Employment increased and the unemployment rate dropped in the United States in July as labor conditions continued to improve in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, although at a slower pace.

Nonfarm payrolls grew 1.8 million and the jobless rate fell nine-tenths of a point to 10.2 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The initial estimate for payroll gains for June was revised down 9,000 to nearly 4.8 million. The estimate for May was revised upward 26,000 to more than 2.7 million.

Despite payroll gains over the past three months, nonfarm employment remains 12.9 million below February and the onset of the pandemic in the U.S.

For July, the number of people counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work decreased 1.4 million to 16.3 million. Those on temporary layoffs decreased 1.3 million to 9.2 million.

Another 8.4 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours were cut or they were unable to find full-time positions.

The labor force participation rate slipped a tenth of a point to 61.4 percent.

At 592,000, nearly a third of the payroll gains in July occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector. Employment rose 502,000 in food services and drinking places.

Employment increased 285,000 in retail trades, 170,000 in professional and business services, 126,000 in health care and 26,000 in manufacturing. Government payrolls grew 301,000.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls decreased a tenth of an hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek increased seven-tenths of an hour to 39.7 hours.

Average hourly wages for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 7 cents to $29.39.