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Unemployment Rate Remained Unchanged at 4.9% in July

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Unemployment rate is steady

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9% in July—the number of people unemployed remained at ~7.8 million. The number of people unemployed in the short term (less than five weeks) fell by ~258,000, while the number of people unemployed in the long term (over 27 weeks) didn’t change much in July. Long-term unemployment accounts for nearly 26.6% of the total unemployment numbers.

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Unemployment rates among various sections

Adult women (aged above 20) and teenagers (age 16–19) saw a fall in unemployment of 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively, while the rates among adult men rose by 0.1%. The unemployment rates for people with educational qualification lower than a high school diploma fell by 1.2%, while the unemployment rates among people with a college degree rose by 0.1%.

The rise in unemployment rates of 0.3% in the Asian population of 16 years old and above was offset by the fall in unemployment rates among the Hispanic and Latino population.

Impact on the market

The unemployment rate staying above market forecasts could see a decrease in the consumer spending pattern over time. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY), the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP), and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) are among the ETFs that would be negatively affected by the rise in unemployment rates. Stocks such as Macy’s (M) and Walmart (WMT) rose by 1.3% and 0.63%, respectively, on August 5 after the employment report was published.

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