Census layoffs contribute to shrinking payrolls

U.S. payrolls fell for a second straight month as more temporary census workers lost their jobs.

According to Labor Department Estimates for July, nonfarm payrolls fell 131,000 as government layoffs more than offset hiring in other sectors. The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.5 percent.

Employment to conduct the 2010 census has influenced overall payroll numbers for the past three months. Overall payrolls swelled 432,000 in May with the addition of census workers, but dropped a combined 352,000 in June and July as those workers were laid off.
The private sector added 71,000 jobs in July, bringing total gains so far this year to 630,000. But the number of people counted among those unemployed for 27 weeks or longer remained unchanged at 6.6 million.

For July, payroll gains were spread out among a number of industry sectors with manufacturing up a net 36,000 jobs, health care up 27,000 and transportation and warehousing up 12,000. Mining employment rose 7,000.

Government employment fell 202,00 with the loss of 143,000 temporary census workers. Payrolls also declined in a number of other sectors with employment down 17,000 in financial activities, 13,000 in professional and business services and 11,000 in construction.
The average workweek for employees on nonfarm private payrolls edged up a tenth of an hour to 34.2 hours. The average workweek for manufacturing employees rose a tenth to 40.1 hours. Average hourly earnings for employees on nonfarm private payrolls rose 4 cents to $22.59.