The U.S. unemployment rate ticked up in July to 8.3 percent, despite the addition of 163,000 jobs nationwide.
The latest jobs numbers bring to 42 the number of months that the unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent. During that period the unemployment rate has ranged from a low of 8.1 percent in April to a high of 10 percent in October 2009.
The 163,000 jobs added is just above the monthly average of 151,000 jobs added throughout 2012.
Professional and business services led the way with 49,000 jobs added, followed by the hospitality industry at 29,000. Manufacturing employment rose by 25,000 jobs.
Utilities employment declined by 8,000 jobs in July, reflecting 8,500 utility workers who were off payrolls due to a labor-management dispute.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little or no change over the month.
The May jobs numbers were revised up to reflect an addition of 87,000 jobs up from 77,000 while the June numbers were knocked down from an additional 80,000 jobs to 64,000 jobs.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate, announced last month, stands at 9.6 percent.