The construction and manufacturing industries were experiencing the highest unemployment rates among industries in July, according to the latest government report.

Construction's unemployment rate was 18.2 percent while the manufacturing industry rate was at 12.4 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported today. In July 2008, construction unemployment was at 8 percent while manufacturing unemployment was at 5.5 percent.

Construction lost 76,000 jobs in July, about the average for the last 3 months at 73,000. Employment had fallen by an average of 117,000 a month on average from November through April. Manufacturing was down 52,000 for the month.

The overall unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in July, a slight improvement over June's 9.5 percent rate.

Overall, employers cut 247,000 non-farm jobs for the month in July, albeit at a slower pace than in previous months, according to the Labor Department.

The average loss per month from May through July was 331,000, about half the average decline from November through April of 645,000.