The government’s latest snapshot of the job market was bleak, a sign the economic recovery is running out of steam with 14.6 million Americans still searching for work.
Job growth proved anemic in July as governments cut jobs and private-sector employers barely expanded.
The economy shed 131,000 jobs, as 143,000 temporary Census workers fell off federal payrolls. Private-sector employment grew by 71,000 in July after a downwardly revised 31,000 in June. Government employment, not counting Census workers, fell by 59,000.
The unemployment rate held steady at 9.5% largely because people gave up hope of finding work and left the labor force.
The latest figures confirm the labor market has lost much of its momentum in recent months. The private sector has added 90,000 jobs a month on average so far this year, well below the 125,000 needed monthly just to keep up with population growth, let alone recover the eight million jobs lost during the recession. Two-thirds of the private-sector job creation this year occurred in March and April, when the economy’s trajectory appeared stronger.
JOBS CUTS RISE AGAIN