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 Labor Department says 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. The jobless rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent.
Overall, the economy lost a net total of 131,000 jobs last month, as 143,000 temporary census jobs ended.
The department also says businesses hired fewer workers in June than it previously estimated. July’s private sector job gains were revised down to 31,000 from 83,000. May was revised up slightly to show 51,000 net new jobs, from 33,000.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)