WASHINGTON (CN) – The private sector added 71,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 9.5 percent, according to Department of Labor statistics released Friday.
Despite a small uptick in the private sector, overall employment declined by 131,000 jobs as the government shed 143,000 temporary Census jobs.
In July, there were 14.6 million Americans who were unemployed, the same amount as June. Almost one-half of those unemployed, 6.6 million or 44.9 percent, have been jobless for six months or more.
The number of people working part-time because their hours have been cut back or they can’t find full-time work is 8.5 million, also largely unchanged from June.
The slow pace of job growth suggests that economic recovery will be prolonged. The private sector, considered the engine of economic growth, has added 630,000 jobs so far this year, but the economy is still reeling from the loss of 8.4 million jobs in 2008 and 2009.
The biggest job gains in 2010 were in March and April.