WASHINGTON - The U.S. June employment report is more evidence that the U.S. economy slowed in the spring. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted "slower job growth in the second quarter in most major industries" and noted "little movement" in unemployment in the first six months of 2012.
June payrolls printed up 80,000 and April-May downward revisions totaled just a 1,000 subtraction. Payroll growth averaged 75,000 a month in Q2, after an average 226,000 monthly rise in the first quarter, illustrating slowdown.
The unemployment rate remained at 8.2% as the number of unemployed remained little changed and the labor force participation rate was flat at 63.8%.
But total private average hourly earnings rose 5 cents for almost a 1.5% gain over the year. And hours and overtime advanced, suggesting production growth.
Jobs composition for June: construction up 2,000, manufacturing rose 11,000, retail fell 5,400, transportation/warehouse dropped 2,200 after a May surge, wholesale grew 8,800, leisure added 13,000 (mainly restaurants), temporary help soared 25,200, and healthcare rose 13,000. Government printed off 4,000, mainly on a dip in federal jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics corrected some historical estimates for book stores and news dealers in the payroll numbers, a sector that is lumped into sporting goods and hobbies. Total employment in these areas is only about 580,000.
The bottom line is this was another weak report and the signal from the strengthening ADP private employment data was false. Services hiring slowed in the spring, endangering the overall tallies. And the 8.2% unemployment rate remains horrifyingly high.
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