WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The growth in the U.S. economy is a mixed picture, according to one economist.
Scott Anderson of Bank of the West says today's jobs report shows continued improvement, but at a still frustratingly slow pace.
The government says employers added 162,000 jobs in July, the smallest number since March. Still, the unemployment rate is down to its lowest level in four and a-half years -- 7.4 percent.
The White House calls the jobs report a positive sign.
A White House economic adviser says Friday's jobs report shows the economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn in a generation.
Alan Krueger is chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He says more work remains to be done.
Krueger says policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class are critical to digging out from the recession that took hold in December 2007.
However, nationally, stocks have slipped after a tepid July jobs report.
Stocks are edging lower on Wall Street after a report of tepid job growth last month.
Energy stocks fell more than the rest of the market after Chevron became the latest big energy company to report lower profits.
The government reported that 162,000 jobs were created last month, fewer than economists expected and the least since March.