Labor outlook rebounds with big payroll increase

What a difference a month makes. After adding only 11,000 jobs in May, United States employers increased payrolls 287,000 in June, according to the latest government estimates.

The unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a point to 4.9 percent in June in part because more people were looking for jobs.

The latest numbers from the Labor Department offer a stark contrast, but were partially affected by the return of 35,000 Verizon workers who had been on strike.

What initially was estimated as an increase of 38,000 jobs in May was revised downward to 11,000, the smallest monthly gain in more than six years. Jobs gains in April were revised upward, though, to 144,000. Using the latest figures, nonfarm payrolls have increased on average 147,000 a month over the past three months.

For June, the number of people counted among the unemployed increased 347,000 to 7.8 million. While 2 million people were counted among those who’ve been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, 5.8 million were counted among those working part time because their hours have been cut or they’re unable to find full-time positions.

The civilian labor participation rate edged up a tenth of a point to 62.7 percent.

Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector increased 59,000 in June, while payrolls in the health care and social assistance sector grew 58,000. Employment increased 44,000 in the information sector with the return of the striking workers. Professional and business services added 38,000 net new jobs, while retailers added 30,000 positions.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.4 hours for a fifth straight month. The manufacturing workweek remained unchanged at 40.7 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 2 cents to $25.61 Over the past year, earnings have increased 2.6 percent.