US unemployment rate remains at 8.2% in June

in International Business

US unemployment rate remains at 8.2% in June

US employment rose by 80,000 in June, official figures have shown, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.2%.

Hopes for a high number had risen after Thursday’s private sector jobs report came in better than expected.

May’s figure of 69,000 new jobs was revised upwards to 77,000.

The figures, from the US Labor Department, show employment growth has slackened from earlier this year, when growth averaged more than 200,000.

The figures fall short of the estimated 125,000 monthly pick-up in employment needed by the US economy to keep pace with the expanding population.

European stock markets fell in response to the weak growth. Germany’s Dax index and the French Cac 40 both declined by more than 1% following the announcement, while in London, the FTSE 100 was down more than 0.4%.

Most of the US jobs growth was in professional and business services, with the Labor Department saying that employment in other major industries was little changed over the month.

The number is unlikely to improve President Barack Obama’s chances of re-election this November.

Cary Leahey, economist and managing director at Decision Economics in New York, said the low number could raise hopes that the Federal Reserve would do more to help the economy through further quantitative easing (QE): “It’s a weak report at first blush, but it doesn’t look as if the tone is any different from the last couple of months.

“There’s no meaningful difference between growth of 75,000 jobs and growth of 80,000 jobs. The market will see this as increasing the possibility that QE3 is coming.”

The number of long-term unemployed was unchanged at 5.4 million, with this category making up 41.9% of the unemployed.

The number of people employed for fewer hours than they would be willing to work because of a scarcity of full-time work was also unchanged at 8.2 million.

The category known as “marginally attached” to the workforce, meaning they have not looked for a job in the previous four weeks although they were classed as available for work, fell from 2.7 million to 2.5 million.

 

 


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