Both the number of unemployed, at 11.5 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.4 percent, were down in July. These measures were down by 1.2 million and 0.8 percentage point over the year, respectively, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Employment also rose in the retail trade industry, with 6,000 jobs added in building material and garden supply stores and 9,000 positions added in general merchandise stores. Overall, the industry added 47,000 jobs in July and 352,000 jobs over the past year.
“In spite of continued rancor and uncertainty from policymakers in Washington, the private sector economy continues to add jobs,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While unemployment remains stubbornly high, with millions of Americans jobless or underemployed, retailers are adding to their ranks and payrolls.”
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, transportation and warehousing, and government, showed little change in July.
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