Employers in the U.S. added jobs at a pace that was slower in July, which suggests more steady, yet unspectacular growth economically heading toward the end of summer.
Payrolls in the U.S. increased by 162,000 during July, said the Labor Department report on Friday.
The country’s rate of unemployment, which comes from a different survey of households in the U.S., dropped by two-tenths of a percentage point and now is 7.4%.
That is the lowest unemployment has been at since December of 2008.
Economists had forecast that the payrolls would increase by 183,000, while the rate of unemployment would drop to 7.5%.
The latest look at the country’s job market has suggested that there is slow growth in the economy that could be weighing on the country’s employers.
Federal spending cuts, higher taxes and a slower growth overseas have held the economy back for months. However, the pace this year for hiring has been solid thus far.
In a negative sign, the Department of Labor, revised the job totals down for the months of May and June by 26,000.
Over the last 12 months, the U.S. job growth has averaged 189,000 per month, enough to bring the unemployment down from its level of 8.2% of July of last year.
Still, the rate of economic growth during the last year had been close to anemic, which has prompted the Federal Reserve Wednesday to leave its $85 billion bond buying monthly program in place. During the first six months of the year, the country’s economy only grew by an annualized rate of 1.4%.
The Fed is watching the jobs market very closely while considering what its next step will be for the bond program. The program is in place to keep the interest rates lower and spur more hiring and investment.
If businesses keep hiring and the rate of unemployment falls as is expected by the central bank, it could start winding down its program later in 2013.