Unemployment Falls to 7.4%, a 4-Year Low
...but dig deeper and jobs report starts to look pretty bad
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 2, 2013 7:57 AM CDT
An unemployment assistance poster hangs in a Georgia Department of Labor career center, July 18, 2013, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(Newser) – Unemployment fell to a 4.5-year low of 7.4% in July, after employers added 162,000 jobs, the Labor Department announced today. But don't celebrate. That 162,000 figure was the lowest since March, and significantly less than analysts were expecting—those surveyed by Bloomberg expected to see a 185,000 bump. And the report was otherwise miserable, showing a decrease in both hourly earnings and hours worked for the first time since October.

And while the unemployment rate fell, actual labor force participation remained basically flat at 63.4%, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bad news wasn't confined to July, either; the report revised May and June's numbers downward as well. ("Remember, these numbers have a history of being upwardly revised more often than not," writes Steven Russolillo for the Journal; he calls the revision "a bit surprising.") The dollar dropped precipitously on the report. "It is still a difficult job market," says one economist. "The impact on employment from the sequestration is still to work its way through the economy."

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Unemployment Falls to 7.4%, a 4-Year Low is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 60 comments
Aug 3, 2013 6:09 PM CDT
So 7.4% of Americans are unemployed and 36.6% are without jobs! I guess that makes sense in some worlds! For the FIRST TIME in United States history several states have more people on unemployment, welfare and other state/federal aid programs than there are working people. I hope all those people that voted for"Hope and Change" like what they are getting!! Because change is all a lot of people have left in their pockets and they are still hoping that a man with no experience or accomplishments can somehow come up with ideas that will save their lives -----Good Luck on That!
Aug 2, 2013 3:48 PM CDT
and the PAY also drops..min wage jobs..Oh joy!!!
Aug 2, 2013 11:55 AM CDT
Obamacare Full Frontal: Of 953,000 Jobs Created In 2013, 77%, Or 731,000 Are Part-Time