The economy added 162,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 185,000 jobs to be added.
Past months saw some big revisions. May’s jobs were revised down from 195,000 to 176,000 and June was revised from 195,000 to 188,000. That means 26,000 fewer jobs than had been previously reported.
Jobs continued to be added in large numbers to the retail and food sectors, accounting for nearly half of the total created in July. Retail added 47,000 jobs in July, coming to a total of 352,000 over the past year. Employment in food services and drinking places, or in other words food servers and waiters, increased by 38,000 in July, coming to 381,000 added over the year.
While public sector employment added 1,000 jobs total, the federal government lost 2,000 amid sequestration that has meant widespread furloughs.