WASHINGTON: The US job growth slowed a bit in July and the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose, pointing to slack in the labour market that could give the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for a while. Nonfarm payrolls increased 209,000 last month after surging by 298,000 in June, the Labour Department said on Friday. Economists had expected a 233,000 job gain. Although job growth was below expectations, July marked the sixth straight month employment expanded by more than 200,000, a signal of strength last seen in 1997. In addition, data for May and June was revised to show 15,000 more jobs created than previously reported. The one tenth of a percentage point increase in the unemployment rate to 6.2% came as more people entered the labour market, an indication of confidence in job prospects.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2014.
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