The proportion of the unemployed and underemployed, including those so discouraged they stopped seeking work, is still one of every eight workers.
The Economic Policy Institute, a progressive economic think tank, issued a statement that was positive in tone and substance about some aspects of the Labor Department's report but negative about others.
The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 7.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, down 0.1 percent from the month before. A separate survey reported businesses claimed to create a net of 162,000 new jobs last month.
Activists joined the national effort for "First Friday Vigils" on behalf the unemployed the day that the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new unemployment data.