WASHINGTON, D.C. — July was a slow month for jobs, with the average increase in employment coming in at a negative 0.11 workers per firm — the third negative monthly reading in a row, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s monthly economic survey.

In a statement, NFIB Chief Economist William C. Dunkelberg discussed the survey, which will be released August 13. He said 12 percent of the association’s 350,000 owners reduced employment to a seasonally adjusted average of 2.6 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted gain of negative 0.11 workers per firm overall. 

The remaining 79 percent of owners made no net change in employment, and 50 percent hired or tried to hire in the last three months. Forty percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions. 

Job creation rose 2 points, with a net 9 percent of owners planning to increase total employment — the best number since August of 2012. Not seasonally adjusted, 12 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (down 2 points), and 6 percent plan reductions (unchanged).

“Overall, there is not a lot of promise for new job growth,” Dunkelberg said.

In the first quarter 2013, gross domestic product (GDP) has been revised down to 1.1 percent following a reading of 0.1 percent at the end of 2012.

“The first estimate for the second quarter is 1.7 percent, better than expected, but revisions for the past two quarters have been negative and large so even that lousy reading may be revised downward,” he added.

“Even so, these GDP growth numbers do not square with the growth in employment averaging over 190,000 per month.  What are these new employees making?  The growth in part-time jobs may explain part of this ‘inconsistency.’  But overall, the job market isn’t looking any better.”