Home BLS: Unemployment rate remains 3.6 percent for fourth month, still higher than pre-pandemic

BLS: Unemployment rate remains 3.6 percent for fourth month, still higher than pre-pandemic

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In the June 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, the number of unemployed Americans remained essentially unchanged at 5.9 million, or 3.6 percent of the population.

In February 2020, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 3.5 percent were unemployed, or 5.7 million Americans.

The report stated that Americans employed part-time for economic reasons declined by 707,000 to 3.6 million in June and is below February 2020’s 4.4 million. These individuals are working part-time because their work hours were reduced, but they would prefer full-time employment and were unable to find full-time jobs in June.

Individuals not in the labor force and not looking for work, but who want to work, remained unchanged at 5.7 million. In February 2020, that number was 5 million.

The pandemic encouraged 7.1 percent of employed Americans to work from home. This is down from 7.4 percent in May, and refers to employed individuals who worked from home for pay at some point during the four weeks before the survey specifically because of COVID-19.

“Today’s jobs report, showing that the private sector has recovered all jobs lost during the pandemic, underscores that while the media focuses on Wall Street volatility, the economy on main street continues to rebound,” Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia, chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), said in a statement Friday. “American businesses are hiring thanks to the Democrats’ response to the pandemic, which saved lives, supported U.S. workers and families and bolstered communities.”

The unemployment rate for Black workers was reported as 5.8 percent by the BLS, 4.3 percent for Hispanic workers, 3 percent for Asian workers and 5 percent for American Indian and Alaska Native workers.

“Since President Biden came into office, the U.S. has added nearly 9 million jobs nationwide, and the unemployment rate has fallen to nearly pre-pandemic levels,” Beyer said in the statement. “The American Rescue Plan and other pandemic relief has ensured that employers in the United States remain eager and able to hire, which has enabled workers to secure better jobs with higher pay.”

Beyer said unemployment has continued to fall in black communities, which were especially affected by the pandemic, but more work is necessary to address “racial disparities and ensure economic growth is broadly shared” in the United States.

“While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine combined with fragile global supply chains have driven higher inflation and energy prices worldwide, the American economy—powered by the strongest household balance sheets this century—continues to create jobs,” Beyer said. “These are not easy economic times, as higher prices deprive U.S. workers and families of the full benefits of the recovery. But while Republicans propose policies to raise taxes on almost half of individuals and families, Democrats in Congress and the Biden Administration are using every tool at our disposal to lower costs for families and promote broad-based growth.”


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.