US adds only 80,000 jobs in June, unemployment still at 8.2%

06 July 2012 14:46  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The US economy added 80,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department said on Friday, a figure below economists’ modest expectations and the fourth straight month of underperforming employment growth.

The June jobs growth figure was better than May, when only 69,000 jobs were generated, but the pace of employment growth remains well below the 150,000 new jobs that should be created each month just to accommodate new workers entering the employment market.

Economists had been expecting employment growth of about 90,000 for June.

The department said the unemployment rate was unchanged in June at 8.2%.  It had been 8.1% in April but edged up to 8.2% in May.

The number of unemployed Americans was 12.7m in June, the department said, about even with May’s figure.

In addition, some 8.2m people are doing what the department calls involuntary part-time work because they cannot find full-time jobs, and another 2.5m Americans who want jobs have given up looking for work.

That means that a total of 23.4m people are out of work or underemployed, about 15% of the nation’s 153m-strong workforce.

Although employment gains were fairly strong at the end of 2011 and early this year – with jobs growth of 260,000 in January and 227,000 in February – the pace began to slow in March (120,000) and further in April (115,000) to May’s mediocre 69,000 jobs figure.

The department said that first-quarter jobs growth averaged 226,000 per month while the just ended second quarter saw a monthly average of only 75,000.

In its monthly employment report, the department said that almost a third of the 80,000 jobs added in June were in temporary services rather than permanent positions with primary employers.

Another part of June’s weak jobs growth was attributed to gains among management and technical consulting firms.

The manufacturing sector saw an average of 11,000 jobs created each month in the second quarter, but that pace was down sharply from the first-quarter monthly average of 41,000, the department said.

The low jobs growth in June came in the wake of a rash of other economic data indicating the US recovery has slowed.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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