Business: Jobs: A Moving Target

The nation's unemployment rate took a disquieting jump in July, rising to 7.8% from 7.5% in June. The jobless figure, reported by the Commerce Department last week, is the highest since January and is certain to add new urgency to the growing unemployment issue in this year's presidential race.

The main cause of the July rise: though 400,000 new jobs were created during the month, 700,000 job seekers, or about three times the normal number, entered the job market. The majority of new job seekers were adult females; their jobless rate went from 7.1% to 7.6%. The unemployment increase also reflected the...

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