Unemployment stays at 7.6%, 195,000 jobs added

Job seekers wait in line to have their resumes reviewed at a job fair on November 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the economy added 195,000 jobs last month, edging out analyst expectations. The unemployment rate remained at 7.6 percent, the same as the previous month. Hiring in the retail and tourism sectors was up, while health care employment lagged and the government shed jobs.

The economy has added an average 202,000 jobs a month for the past six months, up from 180,000 in the previous six. If growth accelerates and unemployment falls, the Federal Reserve is likely to slow its bond purchases before year's end. Bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates low. A pullback in the bond buying would likely send rates up.

"This clears the hurdle for the low bar [the Federal Reserve] has set for easing back on their stimulus," says Julia Coronado, chief North America economist at BNP Paribas. "They've hinted that September is about the time they would like to start pulling back and this gives them the green light to do so."

To hear more about the current job market, click on the audio player above.

Audio Extra: Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, discusses the latest jobs numbers, part-time employment, and the Federal Reserve.


Audio Extra: Seth Harris, acting U.S. Secretary of Labor, shares his take on the latest U.S. employment data.


The AP contributed to this report.

About the author

Julia Coronado is chief economist at BNP Paribas.
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It would be useful to also note the following from the BLS data: "Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged
workers in June, an increase of 206,000 from a year earlier. (The data
are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not
currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in June had not searched for work for reasons such as
school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)"

Especially in contrast to the NPR comment that the "unemployment" rate has not gone down because more people are looking for work.

And also the wage level of the new jobs created.

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