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162K Jobs Added While Unemployment Falls

Employers in the United States have recently added 162,000 in July. The gains have been low enough to help lower the unemployment rate to a 4 1/2 year low of 7.4 percent. This is a great sign in consideration of the other information that was released in the updated report. The Labor Department has said that unemployment was noted to have dropped from 7.6 percent in June. The economy added 26,000 fewer jobs in May and June than what was previously estimated. Americans have been working fewer hours and their pay has decreased slightly, but the new figures suggest that economic growth is occurring gradually.

Reactions to information provided on the jobs report in financial markets have been slightly negative. Stock index futures have given up early gains and were barely changed after the report was released. The yield on the benchmark of 10 year treasury notes fell from 2.71 percent to 2.64 percent as investors bought U.S government bonds instead. The Federal Reserve is planning to pay a lot of attention to the employment data released. It will help to decide whether or not it should scale back the $85 billion monthly bond purchases later on this year.

The job gains in the report were mainly from lower paying industries like hotels, retail, and restaurants. Some positions were added in higher paying areas. Manufacturing added around 6000 jobs which were driven by strong gains from auto plants. Those were the first job gains in United States factories since February. Professional services like accounting, finance, and information technology have also increased. Recent data seems to suggest that the economy could strengthen in the second half of the year if these kinds of statistics continue. A survey from Thursday shows that factories have increased production and received a surge of orders in July, which is propelling the fastest expansion in a period of over two years.

The survey by the Institute for Supply Management also shows that the housing recovery is spurring more output from lumber companies. This also includes appliance manufacturers and furniture makers. Business have ordered more industrial machinery and other types of equipment for over four months consecutively. The troubled economies in Europe are starting to show signs of a recovery, which may be a lift to many of the U.S exports. Automakers in the states are reporting that they are having their best sales since the recession. This is a sign that Americans are getting confident enough with their finances again to be able to make large purchases. Car sales have been said to rise 14 percent in July from 12 months earlier to around 1.3 million.

In addition, healthy sales have encouraged more hiring by Ford Motor Company. The company said last week that it is planning on hiring around 800 salaried professionals this year, which will mainly be in areas such as product development, quality control, and information technology. This means that there will be many new and potential jobs coming up.


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