A Ball State University economist says the new nationwide unemployment report reflects "slow, but steady growth" in the labor markets. The U.S. Department of Labor says 255,000 jobs were added in July and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent. Center for Business and Economic Research Director Mike Hicks says, despite the increase, results were a mixed bag.
Hicks said "overall employment grew by 255,000 persons, but almost 100,000 of the net job growth was in part time employment for economic reasons, and 150,000 more were part time for non-economic reasons. So, full time employment actually shrank in July. Moreover, the number of multiple jobholders in the economy rose by 275,000, so the July numbers do not reflect more people actually working, but rather more people working part-time and holding more than one job."
Annual wages ticked up 0.97 percent, which he said is below the national level of inflation. He adds the mix of employment overall is largely unchanged.