US jobless rate dips to 9.1 percent in July

August 5th, 2011 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 5 (IANS) The US unemployment rate edged down to 9.1 percent in July from 9.2 percent in June, the Labour Department said Friday.

The non-farm sector added 117,000 new jobs last month, far short of the monthly level of 200,000 that economists believe would help slash the unemployment rate in the long run, but still offered some relief to investors after Wall Street plunged Thursday.

The unemployment rate has ticked up for three consecutive months through June, following a decline in the widely scrutinized jobs figure for four straight months, Xinhua reported.

Businesses added 154,000 jobs across different sectors, but governments cut 37,000 jobs last month due to spending cuts.

Employment in state governments decreased by 23,000, almost entirely due to a partial shutdown of the Minnesota state government. Local governments shed 16,000 jobs and the federal government added 2,000 jobs.

The department revised the net jobs creation figure for June to 46,000 from the original 18,000 estimate.

The total number of unemployed Americans stood at 13.9 million, still almost double the level prior to the recession.

The manufacturing sector added 24,000 jobs in July, and retail trade created 26,000, while health care employment grew by 31,000.

The financial sector slashed 4,000 jobs, while construction employment increased 8,000 last month.

In July, the number of long-term unemployed who have been jobless for at least 27 weeks stood at 6.2 million, accounting for 44.4 percent of the total unemployed, indicating a still bleak job market.

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