Jobless rate holds at 9.5%

WASHINGTON — Private employers added jobs at an anemic pace in July and the unemployment rate stood unchanged at 9.5 percent, the government reported Friday.

Private-sector employers added 71,000 jobs in July, well below the 100,000 or more expected by mainstream forecasters.

As a whole, the economy lost 131,000 jobs for the month as temporary Census workers left government payrolls.

The Labor Department also revised downwards its initial June employment numbers, saying that private hiring was actually 50,000 jobs lower than reported. Government hiring was also revised down by 50,000 for June, confirming the view of a very sluggish economic recovery.