Unemployment rate stays at 9.5%

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 05: John Heckert (L) and Heron Puebla use a computer to apply for unemployment insurance at Eastbay Works Oakland One-Stop Career Center August 5, 2010 in Oakland, California. U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly rose by 19,000 new claims for the week ending on July 31. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The new employment numbers were not very encouraging.

Private employers added new workers at a weak pace for the third straight month, making it more likely economic growth will slow in the coming months. The jobless rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent.

The Labor Department said Friday that companies added a net total of 71,000 jobs in July, far below the roughly 200,000 needed each month to reduce the unemployment rate.

Overall, the economy lost a net total of 131,000 jobs last month, as 143,000 temporary census jobs ended.

The census numbers need to be factored in, and it also looks like state and local governments are shedding jobs. In many ways that’s a good sign for long-term fiscal health, but in the short term the job losses hurt. Perhaps the recent jobs pill passed by the Senate this week to help save jobs for teachers and cops will have a positive impact in the coming months.


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