Oil prices rose on Monday as investors bet U.S. unemployment data released last week indicated the economy is improving and will demand more fuel and energy going forward, though supply concerns weighed on the commodity at times. In the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in September traded up 0.33% at $98.20 a barrel during U.S. trading. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $97.44 a barrel and a high of $98.33 a barrel. The September contract settled down 0.30% at $97.88 a barrel on Thursday. Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $97.09 a barrel, Friday’s low, and resistance at $102.10 a barrel, the high from July 28. The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, missing expectations for an increase of 233,000, though July marked the sixth consecutive month that the U.S. economy created over 200,000 new payrolls. The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2% last month from 6.1% in June. Analysts had expected the rate to remain unchanged in July, though the report revealed that more unemployed Americans were entering the labor force in search of work, a positive sign. The unemployment rate does not include discouraged unemployed people who have given up actively searching for work, so a decision by many to look for jobs can send the headline rate higher, though it also suggests out-of-work Americans are more hopeful with their job prospects. The U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of crude, and hopes for a more robust labor market boosted the commodity, though concerns the U.S. is awash in crude capped gains despite escalating tensions in the Middle East. In Iraq, the ISIS Sunni insurgency took control of oilfields and the country’s largest hydroelectric dam on Iraq’s Tigris River in the northern reaches of the country. Most of Iraq’s major oil operations remain far away to the south, however, which prevented a rally. Meanwhile, in Libya, eight fuel tanks caught fire amid heavy fighting near Tripoli’s international airport between rival militias over the weekend. Elsewhere, in Ukraine, government forces seized two towns on the outskirts of Donetsk from pro-Russian separatists on Saturday. Separately, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for September delivery were up 0.45% and trading at US$105.32 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$7.12 a barrel.