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US Employment Situation

Erica L. Groshen, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics

July 2 2015 - "Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent. Employment increased in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.

"Incorporating revisions for April and May, which decreased nonfarm employment by 60,000, monthly job gains have averaged 221,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 months prior to June, employment growth averaged 250,000 per month.

"Employment in professional and business services rose by 64,000 in June, about in line with the average monthly gain of 57,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000), architectural and engineering services (+4,000), and computer systems design and related services (+4,000).

"Health care employment increased by 40,000 in June, compared with an average gain of 34,000 per month over the prior 12 months. Employment growth was widespread within the industry in June, with gains in ambulatory health care services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000).

"Retail trade employment grew by 33,000 in June and has increased by 300,000 over the past year. General merchandise stores added 10,000 jobs over the month.

"Employment in financial activities rose by 20,000 in June. Job gains occurred in insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+7,000). Employment in commercial banking declined by 6,000 over the month. Financial activities has added 159,000 jobs over the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.

"Transportation and warehousing added 17,000 jobs in June and 152,000 jobs over the year. Employment in truck transportation continued to trend up over the month (+7,000).

"Within leisure and hospitality, employment continued to trend up in food services and drinking places in June (+30,000) and has increased by 355,000 over the year.

"Construction employment was unchanged in June. Over the prior 12 months, job growth had averaged 22,000 per month. Manufacturing employment changed little for the fifth month in a row.

"Mining employment continued to trend down in June (-4,000); the industry has lost 71,000 jobs since a recent high in December 2014.

"Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls were unchanged at $24.95 in June. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0 percent. From May 2014 to May 2015, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

"Turning now to data from our survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 5.3 percent in June, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 375,000 to 8.3 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those unemployed 27 weeks or more) fell by 381,000 to 2.1 million. These individuals made up 25.8 percent of the unemployed in June.

"The civilian labor force declined by 432,000 in June (on a seasonally adjusted basis), after increasing by 397,000 in May. At this time of year, a large number of people move into and out of employment and unemployment. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the net labor force gain in June was unusually low compared with prior years. As always, we caution against placing too much emphasis on one month's data.

"The labor force participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 62.6 percent in June. The employment- population ratio was essentially unchanged in June at 59.3 percent and has shown little movement thus far in 2015.

" The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 6.5 million, was little changed in June. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

"Among people who were neither working nor looking for work in June, 1.9 million were classified as marginally attached to the labor force, little changed over the year. These individuals had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was 653,000 in June, essentially unchanged from a year earlier.

"In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent."

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor

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