Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Statement of Erica L. Groshen Commissioner Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, August 2, 2013 Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.4 percent. Over the prior 12-month period, job gains averaged 189,000 per month. In July, employment rose in retail trade, food services, financial activities, and wholesale trade. Retail trade employment grew by 47,000 over the month. Job gains were widespread in the industry. Food services and drinking places added 38,000 jobs in July and 381,000 over the year. Employment in financial activities increased by 15,000 in July, due in part to job gains in the securities industry. Wholesale trade continued to show steady job growth, with a gain of 14,000. Elsewhere in the service-providing sector, professional and business services employment continued to trend up (+36,000). Health care employment was essentially unchanged over the month. Thus far in 2013, job growth in health care has averaged 16,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 27,000 in 2012. Employment in other major industries also was little changed in July. Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 2 cents in July, following an increase of 10 cents in June. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 44 cents, or 1.9 percent. In comparison, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 1.8 percent from June 2012 to June 2013. Turning now to measures from the survey of households, the unemployment rate edged down to 7.4 percent in July. The jobless rate is down from 8.2 percent a year ago. There were 11.5 million people unemployed in July, a decline of 1.2 million from a year earlier. The labor force participation rate, at 63.4 percent, was little changed in July and has shown little movement, on net, thus far this year. Since the end of the recent recession, labor force participation generally has been on a downward trend. In July, the employment-population ratio held at 58.7 percent. This measure has been essentially flat since late 2009. Among the employed, there were 8.2 million involuntary part-time workers in July, essentially unchanged over the month and over the year. Among people neither working nor looking for work in July, 2.4 million were considered marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. The marginally attached are those who had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to survey, but they wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months. Of the marginally attached, 988,000 were classified as discouraged workers in July, up from 852,000 in July 2012. Discouraged workers are those who stopped searching for work because they believed no jobs were available for them. In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.4 percent.