288,000 New Jobs in June Add Up to 2.5 Million This Year, Most in Eight Years
FlaglerLive | July 3, 2014
Released a day early, ahead of the Independence Day holiday, the unemployment numbers for June beat economists’ expectations by a wide margin as 288,000 jobs were created, and April and May figures were revised upward by 29,000 jobs. The last three months’ job-creation total is a robust 816,000, and the year’s job creation totals 2.5 million, the best performance since the Great Recession.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, the lowest level since September 2008. Florida’s unemployment rate went up to 6.3 percent in May, with a decline in net job creation of 17,900. Flagler County’s unemployment went up to 8.6 percent, but the county has been adding jobs steadily, and increasing its labor force.
Unlike in previous months, the bright jobs picture in June was the result of more people getting jobs and fewer people losing them–as opposed to more people dropping out of the labor force.
Although there were 325,000 fewer unemployed people in the nation in June, there are still 9.5 million people out of work, and that figure only reflects the officially unemployed. It does not take into account workers who have dropped out of the workforce, or the 7.5 million people who work part-time because their hours have been cut back, or because they cannot find full-time work: anyone who registers a single hour of work in the previous month is reported as employed, which tends to distort the numbers.
When the under-employed and those who have dropped out of the workforce are included in the tabulation, the unemployment and under-employment rate is 12.1 percent nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a slight improvement over last month’s 12.2 percent rate, and a considerable improvement over the year-ago rate of 14.2 percent. In Florida, the unemployment and under-employment rate is 14.3 percent, well above the national average.
Nationally, the number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 293,000 in June to 3.1 million. These individuals accounted for 32.8 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased
by 1.2 million. The civilian labor force participation rate, however–an indication of underlying strengths of the job market–was 62.8 percent for the third consecutive month, and still well below the 66 percent average of pre-recession months. The employment-population ratio, at 59 percent, ticked up by a decimal point, but remains below its January 2007 peak of 63.3 percent.
“There has been a lot of rumbling that the economy is starting to burst out of its shell, with robust, above-trend growth really arriving for the first time in five years of recovery,” Neil Irwin cautioned this morning in The Times. “And that may be true! But if this halting, sluggish recovery has taught us anything, it is to not let our assessments of the economy be driven by hope, but rather by sustained and credible improvement in a wide range of economic data.”
Thomas Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, also mixed satisfaction with admonition in a statement this morning. “Now is the moment to further invigorate our economy,” Perez said, “by rewarding hard work with fair wages; by pursuing paid leave and other policies that provide security for working families; by upgrading our nation’s aging infrastructure; by investing in apprenticeship and training programs that prepare people for jobs that are available right now. But on too many of these issues, Congress continues to sit on its hands instead of working constructively with President Obama to move the nation and the economy forward. Its refusal to extend emergency unemployment benefits has cut off nearly 3 million people who are trying their hardest to find work.”
A few highlights: Employment in professional and business services rose by 67,000 in June. Retail trade added 40,000 jobs, led by 12,000 in motor vehicle and parts dealers, 8,000 in building material and garden supply stores, and 7,000 in electronics and appliance stores. Employment in food services and bars rose by 33,000, for a total of 314,000 over the past year. Health care employment increased by 21,000, transportation and warehousing by 17,000, financial activities by 17,000, with a gain in real estate and rental and leasing of 9,000. Manufacturing added 16,000 jobs in June, with all of the increase in durable goods
manufacturing. Within durable goods, employment increased in motor vehicles and parts (6,000) and in computer and peripheral equipment (3,000). Wholesale trade added 15,000 jobs. Mining and logging, construction, information, and government saw little change.
The average workweek for all employees on private payrolls was 34.5 hours for the fourth straight month. Both the manufacturing workweek, at 41.1 hours. Average hourly earnings rose by 6 cents to $24.45, following a 6-cent increase in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2 percent, still not enough to overcome increases in health insurance costs, energy and other inflationary costs.