US economy adds 222,000 jobs in June, more than expected

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on July 7. Employment increased in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining. Household Survey Data In June, the unemployment rate, at 4.4%, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.0 million, were little changed. Since January, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed are down by 0.4 percentage point and 658,000, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.0%), adult women (4.0%), teenagers (13.3%), Whites (3.8%), Blacks (7.1%), Asians (3.6%), and Hispanics (4.8%) showed little or no change in June. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged at 1.7 million in June and accounted for 24.3 percent of the unemployed.

Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 322,000. (See table A-12.) The labor force participation rate, at 62.8%, changed little in June and has shown no clear trend over the past year. The employment-population ratio (60.1 percent) was also little changed in June and has held fairly steady thus far this year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 5.3 million, changed little 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 a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In June, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 197,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) 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. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 514,000 discouraged workers in June, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in June had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June. Employment rose in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining. Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016. (See table B-1.)

In June, health care added 37,000 jobs. Employment increased in ambulatory health care services (+26,000) and hospitals (+12,000). Health care has added an average of 24,000 jobs per month in the first half of 2017, compared with a monthly average of 32,000 jobs in 2016. Social assistance employment increased by 23,000 in June. Within the industry, employment continued to trend up in individual and family services (+12,000) and in child day care services (+8,000). Social assistance has added 115,000 jobs over the last 12 months. Employment in financial activities rose by 17,000 in June and has grown by 169,000 over the year. Securities, commodity contracts, and investments added 5,000 jobs over the month. In June, mining employment grew by 8,000, with most of the growth in support activities for mining (+7,000).

Since a recent employment low in October 2016, mining has added 56,000 jobs. Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in June (+35,000) and has grown by 624,000 during the last 12 months. Employment in food services and drinking places also continued on an upward trend in June (+29,000). The industry has added 277,000 jobs over the year.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in June. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.25. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5%. In June, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $22.03. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised up from +174,000 to +207,000, and the change for May was revised up from +138,000 to +152,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 47,000 more than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. During the past three months, job gains have averaged 194,000 per month. 

The Employment Situation for July is scheduled to be released on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

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