The July jobs report was released on Friday morning and shows that 163,000 jobs were added during the month. However, despite the additions, the unemployment rate still rose to 8.3 percent.
July’s hiring was the best since February. Still, the economy has added an average of 151,000 jobs a month this year, roughly the same as last year’s pace. That’s not enough to satisfy the 12.8 million Americans who are unemployed.
The rate increased because the government uses two surveys: A survey of businesses showed job gains, but a survey of households showed fewer people had jobs. Economists say the business survey is more reliable.
In addition, June’s jobs numbers were revised down and, as we noted earlier this week, U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July.
High unemployment could hurt President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes. No president since World War II has faced re-election with unemployment over 8 percent.
The rising rate also sheds new doubt on the president’s claim this month that “we tried our plan and it worked.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.