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BLS Jobs Report: 223,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment at 5.3 Percent

Job growth slowed slightly last month, and the labor force shrank by 432,000 workers, offsetting similarly sized gains in May, according to this morning's Employment Situation Summary. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised April and May's reports downward by 60,000 jobs.

Job growth slowed slightly last month, and the labor force shrank by 432,000 workers, offsetting similarly sized gains in May, according to this morning’s Employment Situation Summary. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised April and May’s reports downward by 60,000 jobs.

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(Photo Credit: brownpau/Flickr)

“This is a softer report than people expected but it’s certainly not a game changer,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, told BloombergBusiness. “The job market is still solid. The big surprise was wages. Wages look weak.”

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Average hourly earnings remained unchanged from the previous month’s report at $24.95. Wages have increased by 2 percent over the year. The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed US workers, forecasts a 0.7 percent increase in wages for the second quarter.

The other dim spot in the report was the unemployment rate, which dipped primarily because of workers opting out of the labor force.

“Though some of the decline in labor force participation is tied to the retirement of baby boomers, prime-age male workers — between 25 and 54 years old — are also sitting increasingly on the sidelines,” writes Chico Harlan at The Washington Post. “The prime age participation rate for men now stands at 88.2 percent, compared with 90 percent six years ago and 92 percent in 2000.”

Job gains occurred in professional and business services (+64,000 jobs), healthcare (+40,000 jobs), retail trade (+33,000 jobs), food services and drinking places (+30,000 jobs), financial activities (+20,000 jobs), and transportation and warehousing (+17,000 jobs).

Mining continued to lose jobs last month, shedding 4,000 jobs. Since December 2014, mining has lost a total of 71,000 jobs, primarily in support.

Other industries, including construction, manufacturing, government, wholesale trade, and information, were flat for June.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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