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Unemployment Rate Down to 7.4%

Both the number of unemployed, at 11.5 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.4 percent, were down in July. These measures were down by 1.2 million and 0.8 percentage point over the year, respectively, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Employment also rose in the retail trade industry, with 6,000 jobs added in building material and garden supply stores and 9,000 positions added in general merchandise stores. Overall, the industry added 47,000 jobs in July and 352,000 jobs over the past year.

“In spite of continued rancor and uncertainty from policymakers in Washington, the private sector economy continues to add jobs,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While unemployment remains stubbornly high, with millions of Americans jobless or underemployed, retailers are adding to their ranks and payrolls.”

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, transportation and warehousing, and government, showed little change in July.

Click here to get the full Employment Situation report.

About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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