Jobs up, jobless rate down as U.S. labor market rebounds

Payrolls swelled and the unemployment rate dropped in June as more businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic reopened and more employees returned to work.

Nonfarm payrolls grew 4.8 million and the jobless rate fell 2.2 points to 11.1 percent, according to the latest Labor Department estimates.

The initial estimate for job gains in May was revised upward 190,000 to 2.7 million.

The gains don’t yet offset job losses earlier this year, most of them related to closures and other restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the virus. For April, the estimate for job losses was revised upward to 20.8 million.

For June, 17.8 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work. Those on temporary layoffs decreased 4.8 million to 10.6 million.

Another 9.1 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours had been cut or they were unable to find full-time positions.

The labor participation rate increased seven-tenths of a point to 61.5 percent.

At 2.1 million, about two-fifths of the payroll gains occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector. Employment rose 1.5 million at food and drinking places: 353,000 in amusements, gambling and recreation; and 239,000 in accommodations.

Retail trades added 740,000 jobs with gains at clothing, general merchandise and home furnishing stores.

Employment increased 568,000 in education and health services, 356,000 in manufacturing and 306,000 in business and professional services. Construction payrolls rose 158,000.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls decreased two-tenths of an hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek lengthened a half hour to 39.2 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls fell 35 cents to $29.37. The drop reflected job gains among lower-paid workers that pulled down the average.