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U.S. unemployment in June down to 9.5%

(Note added July 10, 2010: But celebrations ARE NOT in order….)

The jobless rate for June edged down from 9.7% in May to 9.5% in June. However, total nonfarm employment declined by 125,000 in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today. Most of the employment decline resulted from a decrease (-225,000) in the number of temporary employees working on Census 2010. Employment in the private sector increased by 83,000. According to the report, both the number of unemployed persons, at 14.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at 9.5 percent, edged down in June.

The report had the following to say about groups of workers:

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women (7.8 percent) declined, while the rates for adult men (9.9 percent), teenagers (25.7 percent), whites (8.6 percent), blacks (15.4 percent), and Hispanics (12.4 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted.”

In June, 45.5% of the unemployed were classed as long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more. The total number of long-term unemployed was unchanged at 6.8 million.

The number of people who worked part-time for economic reasons (sometimes called “involuntary part-time workers”) at 8.6 million, changed little over the month but was down by 525,000 over the past two months. These workers were either unable to find full-time employment or had hours cut from a full-time job.

About 2.6 million people were “marginally attached to the workforce” in June, an increase of 415,000 from a year earlier.

“These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

“Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in June, up by 414,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.”

Private-sector employment has increased by 593,000 so far this year but in June was 7.9 million below its December 2007 level.

The report discussed employment changes in various sectors of the economy.

“Within leisure and hospitality, employment rose over the month by 28,000 in amusements, gambling, and recreation.

Within professional and business services, employment continued to increase in temporary help services (+21,000). Employment in temporary help has risen by 379,000 since a recent low in September 2009. Elsewhere in professional and business services, management and technical consulting (+11,000) and business support services (+7,000) also added jobs over the month.

In June, transportation and warehousing added 15,000 jobs. Since a recent low in February, this industry has added 44,000 jobs.

Health care employment edged up in June (+9,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has gained 217,000 jobs.

Mining employment continued to trend up in June (+6,000); the industry has gained 56,000 jobs since October 2009. Within mining, support activities added 7,000 jobs in June.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up over the month (+9,000). The industry has added 136,000 jobs since December 2009.

Construction employment decreased by 22,000 in June, with the largest decline in nonresidential specialty trade contracting. On net, construction employment has shown little change over the last 4 months.

Employment in other private-sector industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and financial activities showed little change in June.

Government employment fell by 208,000 in June, driven by the loss of 225,000 temporary workers hired for Census 2010. Employment in both state and local governments was little changed over the month.”

When I heard the local news tonight speak of the possibility of a “double-dip” recession as the result of the HUGE numbers of people who are out of work, I could only think that much of the recession and slow recovery have been brought about and aggravated by corporations offshoring American jobs. Consumer spending will not drive recovery until fewer people are unemployed.

-Bill at

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