BLS Jobs Report: 209,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment at 6.2 Percent

The economy added 209,000 jobs last month, according to today's Employment Situation Summary, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment ticked up to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent in June.

bureau of labor statistics 

(Photo Credit: brownpau/Flickr)

Although not the blockbuster surprise of last month's 288,000 jobs, or the 230,000 jobs expected by economists, today's numbers represent the sixth straight month of 200,000-plus gains.

Jeanna Smialek at Bloomberg points out that this is "the longest such period since 1997 and a sign of optimism about the economic outlook."

In addition, the Labor Department revised its previous two reports, bringing May up from 224,000 jobs to 229,000 and June up from 289,000 jobs to 298,000 jobs.

"Unambiguously, the labor market is recovering pretty rapidly," Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said before the report, according to US News. "We will start to see wage numbers move up. For spending power, it's not just jobs added but how much [people make]."

Average hourly earnings for July increased 1 cent to $24.45 an hour. The PayScale Index showed a 1.8 percent year-over-year increase in wages for the second quarter of 2014.

The biggest gains were in professional and business services (+47,000 jobs), manufacturing (+28,000 jobs), retail trade (+27,000 jobs), construction (+22,000 jobs), and social assistance (+18,000 jobs). Leisure and hospitality, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, information, and government were essentially flat for July.

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