U.S. June Sluggish Job Gains, Unemployment Edges up to 9.2%

For a second month, the U.S. economy made only sluggish gains in jobs in June as the national unemployment rate edged up to 9.2 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.  Non-farm payroll jobs — not counting the self-employed –– increased by a net 18,000 in June, less than many economists had expected, following May’s adjusted gain of 25,000.

Private business added 57,000 jobs last month, but the private sector lost 39,000 positions, with the federal government shedding 14,000 workers.  BLS reports for recent months show a distinct slowing in U.S. job growth.  Jobs rose by an average of 215,000 per month from February through April, but gains averaged only 22,000 in May and June.

The U.S. jobless rate rose a tenth of a point from May’s 9.1 percent estimate.  The agency’s household survey — which includes the self employed and farm workers — showed that 14.1 million Americans in the work force were unemployed in June — up 545,000 from March levels — with 44.4 percent without jobs for 27 weeks or more.

Another 2.7 million workers have not looked for a job for at least four weeks.  And 8.6 million are working part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs.  Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said the latest federal jobs report “doesn’t have a single redeeming feature. It’s awful from start to finish.”

Ashworth said that “we do still expect GDP growth and consequently employment growth to rebound a little in the second half of the year. But judging by this report, that rebound hasn’t started yet.”

Source: Business Journal

Source 2: BLS Employment Situation

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