Saturday, July 7, 2012

U.S. Economy Adds Jobs in June; Employment Rate Unchanged

By MacKenzie C. Babb
Staff Writer
Washington - The U.S. private sector added 84,000 jobs in June, making it 28 straight months of employment growth, according to a report released July 6 by the Labor Department.
"While the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, much more remains to be done to repair the damage from the financial crisis and deep recession that followed," said Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
The June unemployment rate was unchanged from May at 8.2 percent, which is 0.9 percentage points below its June 2011 level.
The report showed the average work week for private sector workers rose by 0.1 hours in June and that aggregate private sector work hours posted their largest gain since February.
"Employment is growing, but it's not growing fast enough given the jobs deficit caused by the deep recession," Krueger said in a statement following the release of the employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "There are no quick fixes to the problems we face."
Areas with net job increases in June included temporary help services, leisure and hospitality, and wholesale trade.
Manufacturing employment also continued to expand, adding 11,000 jobs in June.
"After losing millions of manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the recession, the economy has added 504,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2010 - the strongest growth for any 29-month period since April 1995," Krueger said.
He added that President Obama has proposed tax incentives for manufacturers, enhanced training for the workforce and measures to create manufacturing hubs that will discourage sending jobs overseas.
Sectors with jobs losses in June included retail trade, government, and motion pictures and sound recording. Local governments shed 14,000 education jobs.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said following the June 20 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank's policymaking arm, that employment gains have been smaller in recent months and that the unemployment rate remains elevated.
Thus, he said, committee participants projected unemployment during the final three months of 2012 will tend toward 8 percent to 8.2 percent, declining to 7 percent to 7.7 percent in the final three months of 2014.
These levels remain above participants' earlier estimates of the longer-run normal rates of unemployment.
Bernanke said participants lowered their projections for economic growth during the coming months, but most still see the economy as expanding at a moderate pace during the rest of 2012.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release the July employment report August 3.
(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.) 

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