U.S. job growth accelerates

The pace of job growth in the United States has picked back up with a bigger increase in hiring in June.

According to Labor Department estimates, nonfarm payrolls increased 222,000. The unemployment rate edged up a tenth of a point to 4.4 percent as more people looked for employment.

What’s more, initial estimates for payroll gains in May and June were revised upward a total of 47,000 to 152,000 and 207,000, respectively. Payrolls have grown an average of 194,000 a month over the past three months and 180,000 a month over the past six months.

Still, the ranks of people counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work was little changed in June at 7 million. Of those, 1.7 million have been out of work 27 weeks or longer. Another 5.3 million people were counted among those working part time because their hours had been reduced or they’ve been unable to find full-time positions.

The labor force participation rate edged up a tenth of a point to 62.8 percent.

Job gains for June were spread out among several industry sectors.

Health care payrolls grew 37,000, while professional and business services added 35,000 positions and employment in food services and drinking places increased 29,000. Social assistance employment rose 23,000, while payrolls increased 17,000 in financial activities and 8,000 in mining.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls edged up a tenth of an hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek lengthened a tenth of an hour to 40.8 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 4 cents to $26.25. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have increased 63 cents, or 2.5 percent.