July Jobs Report: Only 162,000 Jobs Added


And the Commerce Department's GDP report showed the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of this year, better than what most economists expected but showing only mild growth. In the first quarter, GDP rose only 1.1 percent.

"These rates of growth are about half of what is needed historically to support job gains of 200,000 per month," said Robert Murphy, an economics professor at Boston College. "The reason for the higher level of job creation may be that employers postponed hiring early in the recovery until they were sure the expansion was on track. If so, then the recent level of job gains simply reflects postponed hiring that is not sustainable. Alternatively, the estimates of economic growth for this year may be revised upward in coming months as more complete data are compiled, supporting the job growth numbers."

Carol Hartman from DHR International, an executive search firm, is especially concerned about the long term unemployed who are no longer counted in jobs reports.

"Steady job growth, while not robust, defies the tax increases, regulatory environment and large scale changes to healthcare," she said. "Whether this anemic 'recovery' can pick up steam with more business and consumer costs and the financial distress of local municipalities remains to be seen."

ABC News' Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

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