U.S. Job Market Cooled in June

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About 206,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in June but it wasn’t enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising to 4.1%, up from 4.0% in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job gains occurred in government, health care, social assistance, and construction – but the total number of unemployed increased to 6.8 million, up from 6.6 million the previous month.

A year ago, in June 2023, the jobless rate was 3.6% and the total number of unemployed was 6.0 million.

The number of long-term unemployed – those jobless for 27 weeks or more – increased to 1.5 million in June, up from 1.1 million a year earlier.

The long-term unemployed accounted for 22.2% of all unemployed people in June.

The labor force participation rate was basically flat at 62.6%, as was the employment-population ratio, at 60.1%. These measures showed little or no change over the year.

Wages continued to rise slowly: In June, average hourly wage for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $35.00.

Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.9%.

In June, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $30.05.

As is typical, the BLS revised down its estimates for the month prior: May was revised downward by 54,000.

Photo: Marten Bjork

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