U.S. job growth turns sluggish

Job growth that appeared promising earlier this year has turned sluggish.

According to the latest Labor Department Estimates, nonfarm payrolls grew only 80,000 in June as the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent.

What initially was estimated as a gain of 69,000 jobs in May was revised upward to 77,000. But the estimate for April was revised downward from 77,000 to 68,000.

Given the latest numbers, monthly payroll gains for the second quartered averaged 75,000. That’s about a third the average monthly gain of 226,000 during the first quarter.

Private-sector payrolls have increased for 28 consecutive months, adding a total of 4.4 million jobs to the economy during that span.

Nonetheless, the number of people counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work in June held steady at 12.7 million. The number of people who’ve been out of work for 27 weeks or longer remained unchanged at 5.4 million.

Another 8.2 million people were counted among those working part-time jobs because their hours have been cut back or they’re unable to find full-time work.

Payroll gains were spread out over a number of industry sectors in June.

Professional and business services added 47,000 net new jobs, with temporary help services accounting for 25,000 of the increase.

Health care employment rose 13,000, while manufacturers added 11,000 jobs and wholesale trades added 9,000 positions.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls edged up a tenth of an hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek rose a tenth of an hour to 40.7 hours.

Average hourly earnings on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 6 cents to $23.50.

Average hourly earnings have increased 2 percent over the past year.