The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the economy added just 80,000 jobs in June, up slightly from the previous two months, but well below analysts’ expectations. The official unemployment rate held steady at 8.2 percent.
The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report showed an increase of 84,000 private sector jobs and a net loss of 4,000 jobs in the public sector. The Professional and business services sector was the big winner, adding 47,000 in the month, with healthcare (+13,000) and manufacturing (+11,000) also adding positions.
Revisions to previous months’ releases were largely unchanged, with revised gains in May offset by a lower revised number from April.
A secondary measure of unemployment and underemployment, the U-6 figure, ticked up to 14.9 percent in June. The U-6 is a seasonally adjusted measure that counts the unemployed plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.
The American labor market had been on an upward trajectory over the second half of 2011 and first quarter of 2012, with significant quarter-over-quarter job growth. But the most recent quarter has put a stop to that growth by registering the lowest quarterly average since Q3 2010.