U.S. labor update: Jobs and jobless rate up

U.S. payrolls continue to swell with hiring across a number of industry sectors. The unemployment rate edged up as more people look for work.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 213,000 and the jobless rate rose two-tenths of a point to 4 percent in June, according to the latest Labor Department estimates.

The increase in payrolls extends the streak of gains to 93 months. The bump in the unemployment rate was the first in almost a year, but reflected an increase of more than 200,000 people rejoining the work force to look for jobs.

Initial estimates for payroll gains for May and April were revised upward a total of 37,000. Given the latest numbers, payrolls have increased 2.4 million over the past year and an average of 211,000 a month over the past three months.

Still, 6.6 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work. Of those, 1.5 million have been out of work 27 weeks or longer. Another 4.7 million people were counted among those working part time because their hours had been cut or they’ve been unable to find full-time positions. The labor force participation rate edged up
two-tenths of a point to 62.9 percent.

Job gains for June were spread out among a number of industry sectors. Professional and business services added 50,000 jobs, while payrolls increased 36,000 in manufacturing, 25,000 in health care, 13,000 in construction and 5,000 in mining. Retail employment decreased 22,000, nearly offsetting a gain of 25,000 jobs in May.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls held steady at 34.5 hours. The average manufacturing workweek edged up by a tenth of an hour to 40.9 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 5 cents to $26.98. Average earnings have increased 72 cents, or 2.7 percent, over the past year.