Our nation's labor market added 163,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in July, which exceeded all forecasts and represented the country's strongest July job growth since 2006.
The unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent, while the share of long-term unemployed fell to its lowest level since 2009. The Latino unemployment rate dropped nearly a percentage point last month to 10.3 percent.
Over 29 straight months of private sector job growth, the economy has created 4.5 million jobs that didn't exist when President Obama came to office, including 172,000 new private sector jobs in July and 1.1 million generated in 2012 alone. We still have more work to do to help every American looking for work find a good job, but this report reinforces that we remain on the right track. If we continue to invest in the American worker and avoid wrong-headed tax increases on middle-class families, we'll stay on our current trajectory to achieve a full recovery in record time.
July's job growth was broad-based and reached nearly every sector. With bipartisan cooperation, I believe we can grow jobs even faster. For instance, over the last 30 months, our manufacturing sector has seen its largest job gains since 1989. We added 25,000 new manufacturing jobs last month alone, but we could grow this number in the months ahead if Congress would embrace President Obama's proposal to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and instead reward companies that bring good jobs home. Unfortunately, obstructionists on Capitol Hill blocked the administration's common-sense plan to do so.
One of the most damaging things we could do to our recovery is raise taxes on the middle class. We know that spending by the middle class stimulates growth, and that spending on the middle class generates a ripple effect throughout our economy. Keeping earnings in the pockets of hardworking families to spend on our economy helps our job creators grow their businesses and make new hires. The efforts by some in Congress to hold middle-class tax relief hostage to more tax cuts for the wealthy is deeply irresponsible and unhelpful to our recovery.