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US Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rose by 850,000 in June Surpassing Expectations

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 850,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail trade, and other services.

Both the unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 9.5 million, were little changed in June. These measures are down considerably from their recent highs in April 2020 but remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020). (See table A-1. See the box note at the end of this news release for more information about how the household survey and its measures were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.9 percent), adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (9.9 percent), Whites (5.2 percent), Blacks (9.2 percent), Asians (5.8 percent), and Hispanics (7.4 percent) showed little or no change in June. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) Among the unemployed, the number of job leavers–that is, unemployed persons who quit or voluntarily left their previous job and began looking for new employment– increased by 164,000 to 942,000 in June. The number of persons on temporary layoff, at 1.8 million, was essentially unchanged over the month. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.0 million in April 2020 but is 1.1 million above the February 2020 level. The number of permanent job losers, at 3.2 million, was also essentially unchanged over the month but is 1.9 million higher than in February 2020. (See table A-11.) In June, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 233,000 to 4.0 million, following a decline of 431,000 in May. This measure is 2.9 million higher than in February 2020. These long-term unemployed accounted for 42.1 percent of the total unemployed in June. The number of persons jobless less than 5 weeks, at 2.0 million, changed little in June. (See table A-12.) The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.6 percent in June and has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020. The participation rate is 1.7 percentage points lower than in February 2020. The employment-population ratio, at 58.0 percent, was also unchanged in June but is up by 0.6 percentage point since December 2020. However, this measure is 3.1 percentage points below its February 2020 level. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons decreased by 644,000 to 4.6 million in June. This decline reflected a drop in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons is up by 229,000 since February 2020. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.) In June, the number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 6.4 million, little changed over the month but up by 1.4 million since February 2020. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job. (See table A-1.) Among those not in the labor force who currently want a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.8 million, changed little in June but is up by 393,000 since February 2020. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was 617,000 in June, essentially unchanged from the previous month but 216,000 higher than in February 2020. (See Summary table A.) Household Survey Supplemental Data In June, 14.4 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 16.6 percent in the prior month. These data refer to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the last 4 weeks specifically because of the pandemic.

In June, 6.2 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic–that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 7.9 million in May. Among those who reported in June that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 10.0 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, little changed from the previous month. Among those not in the labor force in June, 1.6 million persons were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 2.5 million in May. (To be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either actively looking for work or on temporary layoff.) These supplemental data come from questions added to the household survey beginning in May 2020 to help gauge the effects of the pandemic on the labor market. The data are not seasonally adjusted. Tables with estimates from the supplemental questions for all months are available online at www.bls.gov/cps/effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.htm.

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