Job growth increases for July, but so does unemployment to 8.3%

Job growth has increased to 163,000 jobs for the month of July, up from 80,000 jobs in June. This is decent news, but it will of course be hailed as a major success and Biden will probably call it the beginning of “Recovery Fall” or something. But the truth is that job growth still wasn’t enough to keep the unemployment rate from ticking back up to 8.3%. And while 163k jobs were added, employment fell by 195k. And another 150k people left the labor force.

So all in all, not so good:

MARKET WATCH — The nation’s labor market showed some signs of improvement in July as job growth came in above market expectations, U.S. government data showed on Friday.

Employment outside the farm sector grew by 163,000 workers in the month, the Labor Department said. This is the fastest pace of job growth since February. …

Still, job growth remains well below what’s needed to bring down the unemployment rate, which rose to 8.3% in July, according to a separate survey of households. This is the highest rate since February. Analysts were expecting the jobless rate to remain steady at 8.2%.

The jobless rate has stayed in a tight range around 8.2%-8.5% since last December. It has been above 8% for three years, and may stay that way as voters head to the polls in November to decide whether they want four more years of President Barack Obama or whether to elect his rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. …

Unemployment rose by 45,000 to 12.8 million for July, while employment fell by 195,000 to 139.5 million. The labor force decreased by 150,000 as some discouraged workers left the labor market.

An alternate measure of employment, which includes discouraged workers and those forced to work part-time because of the weak economy, ticked up to 15% from 14.9%.

Romney responds (via Weekly Standard):

“Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families. Yesterday I launched my Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will bring more jobs and more take home pay. My plan will turn things around and bring the economy roaring back, with twelve million new jobs created by the end of my first term. President Obama doesn’t have a plan and believes that the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Obviously, that is not the case. We’ve now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above eight percent. Middle class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”

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