Web Producer: Jason Bailey
(This story first appeared as part of Business Watch brought to you by Evansville Business Magazine)
While hot summer weather may have people feeling sluggish, the U.S. employment picture is energized.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the month of July, employers added 207,000 employees to the payroll, the largest increase in five months.
With the national unemployment rate holding steady at 5-percent, the Labor Department said hiring gains were made in retailing, education, health services, financial activities and construction.
The number of unemployed people, 7.5-million, and the unemployment rate, 5-percent, were unchanged in July. A year earlier, the number of unemployed people was 8.2-million and the jobless rate was 5.5-percent.
Retail trade employment was up by 50,000 in July, after little change in June.
Retail employment gains were across the board, including growth in clothing stores, motor vehicle and parts dealers, and building material and garden supply stores. Professional and technical service jobs increased by more than 23,000 in July.
Over the year, this industry has added 211,000 jobs to the employment picture. Employment in financial activities rose by 21,000 over the month, as jobs in credit intermediation and real estate continued to grow.
Since July 2004, employment in credit intermediation has grown by 93,000, while the real estate industry has added 54,000 jobs. Jobs in food and drinking services rose by more than 30,000 in July.
The industry has added 262,000 jobs over the year.
The health care industry also continued to grow, with gains in ambulatory health care services, hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities.
Temporary help employment was flat in July and has shown little net change since April.
Average hourly earnings of production or non-supervisory workers rose by 6 cents to $16.13, seasonally adjusted.
Average weekly earnings increased by 4-percent over the month to $543.58. Both average and hourly wages increased 2.7-percent over the year.