WASHINGTON—Despite recent hopes that the lifeless U.S. employment climate may at last be turning a corner, a new report issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that nationwide job growth remains sluggish, or rather, akin to a slug in its behavior.

It’s sluglike, is what sources are trying to say. Job growth remains sluglike.

With employers adding a mere 162,000 jobs in July, the Department of Labor revealed that the unemployment rate edged down to 7.4 percent last month, a disappointing indicator for the long-term prospects of growth, which, again, at this point could reasonably be described as resembling, in a figurative sense, a slug. That is to say that when appraising the current state of the job market, comparing it to a slug would be a logical thing to do and would perhaps make what is a complex economic issue a little more palatable.

And to clarify, sources emphasized that the current employment climate isn’t being described as sluggish because it looks like a slug. That reportedly wouldn’t make any sense. No, the slug term is being evoked due to the performance of the job market, which in spite of moderate gains in the manufacturing sector is currently, you know, slow.

Just like a slug, sources again confirmed.

Look, this reportedly still may not be totally clear. But how about this: If you think of job growth as an animal—and you don’t necessarily have to do that, but sources confirmed it can be a useful way of explaining things—it makes sense to choose an animal based on its speed, as that’s how the overall economy itself is usually assessed.

Thus, if unemployment were down, and businesses were constantly adding to their workforce, it would reportedly make sense to compare job growth to a cheetah, as cheetahs are very fast. But if job growth was stagnant—as recent economic reports in fact indicate—you would compare it to a more lethargically paced animal, like, say, a turtle, or a snail, or, that’s right, a slug.

Sluggish. Sluglike. Sluggy. These are all words sources would use in this instance, although perhaps not sluggy, as that’s not really a word people use.

Of course, sources could always just say that domestic job growth is “slow-moving,” as that would also be accurate, but reports indicate that that’s a little prosaic, and, especially where journalism is concerned, it’s helpful to use more colorful language when describing these dry economic topics. You know, try to breathe a little life into it.

Although, hold on, it just occurred to sources that another good way of describing the state of the job market would be to use boats. So if job growth were up, you’d compare it to a really fast speedboat. And then when job growth was down, you’d say it was like some kind of slower boat. Like some kind of tugboat (slugboat?) or something.

Actually, scrap that. Sources confirm that they had it right the first time when they described job growth as sluggish, or sluglike. Payroll growth is diminishing, long-term unemployment is up, and an alarming number of out-of-work individuals are no longer actively looking for full-time positions—and economic analysts would agree without a shadow of a doubt that job growth is in fact sluggish.

At press time, the whole thing is like a big slug; that’s the takeaway here.