Employers Add 206,000 Jobs in June

July 8, 2024 – Employment rose by 206,000 in June as the U.S. unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.1 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The number of unemployed persons was 6.8 million in June. Job gains occurred in government, healthcare, social assistance, and construction.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.7 percent) and Asians (4.1 percent) increased in June. The jobless rates for adult men (3.8 percent), teenagers (12.1 percent), Whites (3.5 percent), Blacks (6.3 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose by 166,000 to 1.5 million in June. This measure is up from 1.1 million a year earlier. The long-term unemployed accounted for 22.2 percent of all unemployed people in June. The labor force participation rate changed little at 62.6 percent in June, and the employment-population ratio held at 60.1 percent. These measures showed little or no change over the year.

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.2 million, changed little in June. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

The number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job declined by 483,000 to 5.2 million in June. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the four weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.

Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of people marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.5 million, was essentially unchanged in June. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, edged down to 365,000 in June.

“We now have definitive evidence of labor market cooling with a somewhat alarming rise in the unemployment rate in recent months that should give policymakers ‘more confidence’ that consumer inflation will soon return to the two percent target on a sustainable basis,” said Scott Anderson, chief U.S. economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Related: How to Get Ahead in the Hiring Waiting Game

“So far, we don’t see apocalyptic signs within the labor market, but investors should be wary when the labor market is supported by government payrolls,” said Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial. “The downward revisions to the previous two months is consistent with an economic slowdown.”

“The labor market is chugging along for now, but evidence is mounting that if it continues to slow down, it could stall,” said Nick Bunker, the economic research director for North America at Indeed Hiring Lab.

Where Job Growth Occurred

Government employment rose by 70,000 in June, higher than the average monthly gain of 49,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in local government, excluding education (+34,000) and in state government (+26,000).

Healthcare added 49,000 jobs in June, lower than the average monthly gain of 64,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, employment rose in ambulatory healthcare services (+22,000) and hospitals (+22,000).

Employment in social assistance increased by 34,000 in June, primarily in individual and family services (+26,000). Over the prior 12 months, social assistance had added an average of 22,000 jobs per month.

Construction added 27,000 jobs in June, higher than the average monthly gain of 20,000 over the prior 12 months.

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Retail trade employment changed little in June (-9,000), after trending up earlier in the year. Furniture, home furnishings, electronics, and appliance retailers lost 6,000 jobs over the month, while warehouse clubs, supercenters, and other general merchandise retailers gained 5,000 jobs.

Employment in professional and business services changed little in June (-17,000) and has shown little change over the year. Temporary help services employment declined by 49,000 over the month and is down by 515,000 since reaching a peak in March 2022. Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services continued to trend up in June (+24,000).

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; information; financial activities; leisure and hospitality; and other services.

Related: A Look at the Crucial Role of Talent Advisory in Guiding Hiring Executives

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief and Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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