August 2, 2017

July 2017 Jobs Report

Unemployment Rate: 4.3 percent

Jobs Created: 209,000

Employment and Unemployment

  1. The Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent for July, down 0.1 percent from last month. This matches the lowest unemployment rate in 16 years. 

  2. Today’s jobs report shows an increase of 209,000 nonfarm jobs in July, greater than analysts’ prediction of job growth of 180,000. Employment for May was revised down from 152,000 to 145,000, and June was revised up from 222,000 to 231,000 jobs created. With today’s report, the country has added one million new jobs since President Trump took office. 

  3. Unemployment in July among those ages 16-19 was 13.2 percent, down 0.1 percent from last month. For people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, the unemployment rate was 5.1percent, up from 4.8 percent in June. For African-Americans, the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, up from 7.1 percent in June.

  4. The number of long-term unemployed, those unemployed for 27 weeks or more, was 1.8 million, up from 1.7 million last month. They account for 25.9 percent of the unemployed, up from 24.3 percent in the prior month.

  5. The “real” unemployment or U-6 rate is 8.6 percent, unchanged from last month. The U-6 figure represents the total percentage of unemployed and underemployed workers. 

  6. The “real” number of unemployed Americans is 13.9 million. These are people who are unemployed (7.0 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (1.6 million), or are working part time because they cannot find full-time employment (5.3 million).  

  7. In July, employment grew by 53,000 in food and drink services; 49,000 in professional and business services; 39,000 in health care; 16,000 in manufacturing; and 1,000 in mining. Within retail, clothing and clothing accessories stores lost 10,000 jobs last month. 

  8. Following its July 25-26 meeting, the Federal Reserve issued a statement saying “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Job gains have been solid, on average, since the beginning of the year, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending and business fixed investment have continued to expand. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and the measure excluding food and energy prices have declined and are running below 2 percent.”

  9. Following its July meeting, the Federal Reserve voted to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1 and a quarter percent, following a rate increase at its June meeting.

  10. The Federal Reserve next meets September 19-20.    

Labor Force Participation

  1. The labor force participation rate is 62.9 percent, up from 62.8 percent last month and remaining near its lowest level in 38 years.

  2. The labor force participation rate remains concerning as many workers stay on the sidelines. Since October 2013, the participation rate has largely been stuck in a narrow range of 62.5 to 63 percent. Prior to the recession, the rate was 66 percent.

  3. The share of American adults with jobs in July was 60.2 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from last month. This is nearly 4 percentage points below its pre-recession peak. 


  1. In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents to $26.36, following a 4 cent increase in June. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent.

Issue Tag: Labor