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US economy added 162,000 new jobs in July

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Story Dated: Sunday, August 04, 2013 09:48 hrs EDT

US economy added 162,000 new jobs in July, according to the US Labor Department. The figure - which measures the number of jobs outside the US farming sector - was below economists' expectations of more than 180,000 and the government also cut its previous estimates for hiring in May and June. Nonetheless, the new jobs helped the unemployment rate to fall to 7.4%. That was down from 7.6% and is the lowest jobless rate in four years. The news adds to the picture of a slowly growing US economy and may make its central bank more likely to end its monetary stimulus programme. The Federal Reserve is currently buying $85bn a month in bonds which helps to keep borrowing costs low. However, there is much speculation as to when the Fed will start to rein in this stimulus programme. Its chairman, Ben Bernanke, has said that it might start cutting down the rate of bond buying by the end of the year and stop altogether by the middle of 2014, depending on the strength of the economy.

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