This morning's employment report from the Department of Labor showed the economy added 162,000 non-farm payrolls in July, which was below expectations of 183,000 to 200,000 being added. But unemployment ticked down from 7.6% to 7.4%.
In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.2 million. These individuals accounted for 37.0% of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has declined by 921,000 over the past year. In July, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 988,000 discouraged workers in July, up by 136,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in July had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
The U.S. dollar index softened immediately on the disappointing employment data, as investors are using employment as a barometer to when the Federal Reserve will roll back its asset purchases.