— Looking for a job at an auto plant? You might be in luck.
Hoping to start a career in the insurance industry? You might want to think again.
Friday’s lackluster unemployment report offered a sliver of good news for people who had been looking to work at an auto plant or a hospital, but will probably be little comfort to those who had their heart set on a job in finance or real estate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that private employers added a paltry 71,000 new jobs in July, little more than a drop in the bucket when you consider the 14.6 million people who are looking for work.
Overall, nonfarm payrolls fell by 131,000, mainly because people were finishing up temporary government Census jobs.
The unemployment rate stayed the same at 9.5 percent.
Some of the biggest job gains were in health care, which added 26,600 jobs in the month. That’s no surprise, since the country has continued to see an increased need for people to work in nursing homes, hospitals and doctors' offices even as the nation has been wracked by the effects of the recession.
Motor vehicle and parts manufacturing also added 20,700 jobs in July, and employment is also up from a year earlier. That’s a big switch from the early days of the recession, when the industry was decimated by a big drop in vehicle purchases.
Overall, manufacturing added 36,000 jobs in the month. The sector shed millions of jobs since the recession began in December 2007.
Out-of-work bus drivers may also be in luck: Transit and ground passenger transportation added 10,600 jobs last month and is also showing year-over-year gains.
Consumers may be wary about spending, but some stores appear to be starting to hire. The retail trade sector also added 6,700 jobs, with the biggest gain coming from general merchandise stores. Still, there are fewer retail jobs than a year earlier, and not all retailers are faring equally: auto dealers were among those that shed jobs in the month.
Other losers included the financial sector, which includes insurance, and which lost 17,000 jobs last month. A career in real estate may also not be the best bet, as that industry is continuing to bleed thousands of jobs each month.
Administrative and support services workers also may not be encouraged by Friday’s jobs report, which showed a loss of more than 16,000 jobs during the month. Still, the sector has seen year-over-year gains, according to the jobs report.
Census workers weren't the only government employees to take a hit. About 200,000 total government jobs were cut as state and local government workers also suffered from the effect of the recession.
The construction industry shed 11,000 jobs, mainly in building construction, although the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that was mostly due to a strike. Still, the sector has been among the hardest hit by the recession.
What does it all mean? Construction workers, you might want to consider whether you have the bedside manner for a career in health care.