The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July and the unemployment grew to 6.2 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday.
The monthly jobs report came in slightly below economists' expectations of about 230,000 jobs, but the addition of more than 200,000 jobs for the sixth consecutive month was a positive sign for the labor market.
Average hourly earnings for employees edged up by a penny, and the Labor Department estimates for jobs created in May and June rose by 15,000 in revisions.
Initial reactions to the numbers were lukewarm.
So this is a mildly disappointing jobs report. Certainly nothing to freak out over, but would be nice if it were stronger.— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) August 1, 2014
But the slight increase in the unemployment rate, up from 6.1 percent, resulted from positive reasons because more people returned to the labor force in July.
This is a “good” increase in the unemployment rate. More people working and more people looking for work.— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) August 1, 2014
The economy received good news on Wednesday with the announcement that the gross domestic product grew by 4 percent in the second quarter, a sharp rebound from a 2.1 percent drop the prior three months.