NEW YORK (8/4/14)--The U.S. Labor Department reported 209,000 net new jobs Friday; however unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.2% as more workers joined the labor force (Washington Post Aug. 1).
The number of new entrants to the job market continues to exceed the number of jobs created. Labor force entry is a positive sign of more confidence in the labor market. However, the participation rate increased to 62.9% from 62.8% but remains low (Moody's Aug. 1).
The net employment gain for May was also revised higher, to 229,000 from 224,000. Thus, the three-month average of 245,000 is consistent with a steadily improving labor market that is generating more than enough jobs to keep pace with growth in the working-age population.
As expected, the strong pace of job creation in June was not sustained in July, primarily because service industries added somewhat fewer workers. Despite the somewhat weaker pace, the recent trend in job creation points to a steadily improving labor market with gains broad-based across industries. Job gains have exceeded 200,000 monthly for six consecutive months.
The quality of new jobs has improved in recent months as well, with the lowest-paying industries such as leisure/hospitality, retail and temporary help accounting for one-quarter of net new jobs, down from about a half in the first quarter and last half of 2013.