June Job Growth Tops Expectations

July 6, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) - Hiring activity in the U.S. surpassed expectations for the month of June, and the unemployment rate was stagnant at 4.5%.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday that the economy added 132,000 jobs in June, a stronger showing than the 120,000 jobs predicted by Reuter’s survey of economists.

The figures for June were higher than those initially released for April (80,000) and May (157,000). However, the Labor Department recently revised those numbers, reporting a job growth of 122,000 in April and 190,000 in May.  

The unemployment rate held steady for June at 4.5%. The jobless rate has ranged from 4.4% to 4.6% since September 2006. 

Overall, employment rose in health care and social assistance, food services, and wholesale trade for the month, as manufacturing continued to lose jobs.
Health care employment grew by 30,000 in June, with gains in hospitals (14,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (8,000). Over the year, health care employment has expanded by 371,000. Employment in social assistance was up by 13,000 over the month, adding 84,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

Food services and drinking places added 35,000 jobs in June, and posted a 387,000 rise over the year.

Wholesale trade employment increased by 20,000, with gains in both its durable and nondurable components.

Professional and business services employment was little changed in June. During the first six months of 2007, job growth in the industry averaged 13,000 per month compared with an average of 42,000 per month in the last half of 2006.
In financial services, employment in credit intermediation and related activities fell by 9,000. This loss was partially offset by a job gain in securities, commodity contracts, and investments, which added 6,000 jobs.

Retail trade employment edged down in June, with general merchandise stores losing 10,000 jobs over the month, and there were smaller declines occurring among other retail industries.
Manufacturing employment continued to trend down in June by 18,000.  Job losses occurred in several component industries including primary metals (-5,000), computer and electronic products (-4,000), wood products (-4,000), and textile mills (-2,000). Partially offsetting those declines, machinery added 6,000 jobs and beverages and tobacco products manufacturing added 3,000 jobs over the month.

For the full BLS report visit http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf .