The U.S. economy gained 850,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department said Friday, a gain that beat economists’ expectations and shows that an economic recovery is taking hold.
The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9%, an indication that more people are looking for work.
The federal government found notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail trade, and other services.
Among the unemployed, the number of job leavers — 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.
Economists take this as a sign of a strong job market giving workers the confidence to look for better jobs.
President Joe Biden’s official Twitter account said Friday: “3 Million Jobs since we took office. Our economic plan is working.”
U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal , D-Springfield, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said good jobs numbers prove the effectiveness of steps taken to keep the economy afloat.
“For the sixth straight month, our economy has added back jobs, and this month’s higher than expected number is proof that we are on a strong road to recovery. Unemployment claims dropped again this week to a new pandemic low, and today’s report shows that workers who had to leave the workforce are returning. It is clear that Democrats’ leadership creating supplemental federal unemployment insurance during the pandemic kept workers and businesses afloat in a time of great need, and the emergency support has not discouraged workers from returning to the workplace once they felt it was safe to do so,” Neal said,
“All of our previous relief and recovery efforts laid the groundwork for the growing momentum seen in today’s report. By making more pro-job, pro-worker investments, we can speed up the recovery’s pace even more and strengthen the basic supports that allow for full worker participation. As the Ways and Means Committee laid out in our Building an Economy for Families Act, giving workers access to child care and paid family leave will help them return to the workplace, lead to a quicker recovery, fundamentally improve women’s ability to contribute to the economy, and make the United States more competitive on the world stage.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the number of persons on temporary layoff, at 1.8 million, was essentially unchanged over the month.
The June survey also shows other evidence that the economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, 14.4 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 16.6 percent in the prior month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.6% in June and has remained within a narrow range of 61.4% to 61.75 since June 2020.
Local jobless numbers for June won’t be out until later this month. But for May, greater Springfield had an unemployment rate of 6.8%.
Greater Springfield gained only 900 jobs in May, according to numbers that came out this week from the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
That’s a gain of just three-tenths of a percentage point on the month, well short of the 1% gain statewide. Greater Pittsfield gained 700 jobs on the month, for a gain of 1.9% percent.
But May’s numbers lagged nationally, too.
Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees rose by 10 cents to $25.68 in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The increase suggests that the rising demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put upward pressure on wages.
Job gains and loses by industry:
Leisure and hospitality increased by 343,000, as pandemic- related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country. Over half of the job gain was in food services and drinking places (+194,000). Employment also continued to increase in accommodation (+75,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+74,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 2.2 million, or 12.9 percent, from its level in February 2020.
Education employment rose by 155,000 in local government education, by 75,000 and by 39,000 in private education. In both public and private education, staffing fluctuations due to the pandemic, in part reflecting the return to in-person learning and other school-related activities, have distorted the normal seasonal buildup and layoff patterns, likely contributing to the job gains in June.
Professional and business services rose by 72,000 in June but is down by 633,000 since February 2020. In June, employment rose in temporary help services (+33,000), advertising and related services (+8,000), scientific research and development services (+7,000), and legal services (+6,000).
Retail trade added 67,000 jobs in June, but employment is down by 303,000, or 1.9 percent, since February 2020. Over the month, job growth in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+28,000), general merchandise stores (+25,000), miscellaneous store retailers (+13,000), and automobile dealers (+8,000) was partially offset by losses in food and beverage stores (-13,000) and health and personal care stores (-7,000).
Other services industry added 56,000 jobs in June, with gains in personal and laundry services (+29,000), in membership associations and organizations (+18,000), and in repair and maintenance (+9,000). Employment in other services is 297,000 lower than in February 2020.
Social assistance rose by 32,000 in June, largely in child day care services (+25,000). Employment in social assistance is down by 236,000 from its level in February 2020.
Wholesale trade added 21,000 jobs, with gains in both the durable and nondurable goods components (+14,000 and +9,000, respectively). Employment in wholesale trade is 192,000 lower than in February 2020.
Mining rose by 10,000 in June, reflecting a gain in support activities for mining. Mining employment is down by 110,000 since a peak in January 2019.
Manufacturing employment changed little in June (+15,000). Within the industry, job gains in furniture and related products (+9,000), fabricated metal products (+6,000), and primary metals (+3,000) were partially offset by a loss in motor vehicles and parts (-12,000). Employment in manufacturing is down by 481,000 from its level in February 2020.
Transportation and warehousing was little changed in June (+11,000). Employment gains in warehousing and storage (+14,000), air transportation (+8,000), and truck transportation (+6,000) were partially offset by a loss in couriers and messengers (-24,000). Since February 2020, employment in transportation and warehousing is down by 94,000.
Construction employment changed little in June (-7,000). Over-the-month job losses in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-15,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000) were partially offset by a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (+13,000). Employment in construction is 238,000 lower than in February 2020.
In June, employment showed little change in other major industries, including information, financial activities, and health care.