Updated from 8:37 a.m. EDT
The U.S. economy added 92,000 workers to nonfarm payrolls last month, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.6%, the government said Friday.
Analysts had been expecting the Labor Department report on the July employment situation to show that 135,000 jobs had been created. The unemployment rate was expected to stay unchanged at 4.5%.
Payroll additions for June were revised downward by about 6,000 jobs. So far this year, an average of 136,000 positions have been created each month, down from a gain of 189,000 a month in 2006.
Average hourly earnings rose by 6 cents, or 0.3%, in July.
The government said employment rose in several service-providing industries and changed little in the goods-producing industries.
Health care employment grew by 36,000 last month, and the financial services saw 27,000 new jobs. Employment in food services and drinking places rose by 22,000.
Manufacturing and construction were essentially flat. Manufacturing has lost 175,000 jobs over the past 12 months, and since last September, 75,000 construction jobs have disappeared.