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June Unemployment Rate of 9.2 Percent, Other Lackluster Indicators, Revealed in New U.S. Govt. Report

07/08/2011
A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is out about June unemployment-and it's not good news for the economy. The workforce shrank, more people are out of work, and expectations for the creation of new jobs fell flat. Since March, the unemployment rate has increased 0.4 percentage points, and unemployment has increased by 545,000.

The data showed the number of unemployed persons (14.1 million) and the unemployment rate (9.2 percent) were essentially unchanged over the month. Most major private-sector industries "changed little" over the month, while government employment continued to "trend down" (-39,000).

Manufacturing employment changed little in June. Following gains of 164,000 jobs between November 2010 and April 2011, the report said employment in this sector has been flat for the past two months. "In June, job gains in fabricated metal products (+8,000) were partially offset by a loss in wood products (-5,000)."

In construction, employment was essentially unchanged in June. In fact, after having fallen sharply during 2007-09, employment in this sector "has shown little movement on net since early 2010."

"This is a lousy jobs report, " said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. "Any momentum we've seen in manufacturing has stalled. I think it is fair to say that we are at a crossroads now: could we be headed toward years of stagnation, or will Washington do what it takes to help spur private sector job growth?"

While the American people want a jobs plan, he continued, "Washington seems tone deaf. Making drastic cuts in investments like infrastructure and research will only deepen the jobs crisis."

Paul added that the metric for President Obama and congressional leaders "must now be the number of jobs we create, rather than the amount of deficit reduction we see."

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