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Unemployment ticks up in June

The national unemployment rate inched up a bit in June, to 9.5 percent, a tenth of a point higher than May and getting close to double where we were at the start of the recession in December 2007.
Another measure that factors in people working part-time who would prefer full-time work, the long-term unemployed who no qualify for unemployment benefits and those who have been out of work for a year or longer who have suspended their job searches puts the unemployment/underemployment rate just shy of 20 percent, from my analysis of figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Thursday morning.

“Today’s news is a reminder of the severity of the economic problem that this administration inherited and continues to illustrate the pressing needs of American working families,” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a statement today.

According to the BLS data, there were 14.7 million people unemployed in June. The number of part-time underemployed was at 9.0 million in June, the number of long-term unemployed not counted in the main set of unemployment data was at 4.4 million in June, and another 2.2 million poeple were referred to as being “marginally attached to the labor force,” because they wanted and had looked for a job sometime in the past 12 months, but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the Bureau survey.

More from the Bureau report:

– Employment in manufacturing fell by 136,000 over the month and has declined by 1.9 million during the recession. Within the durable goods industry, motor vehicles and parts (-27,000), fabricated metal products (-18,000), computer and electronic products (-16,000), and machinery (-14,000) continued to lose jobs in June. Since the recession began, employment in motor vehicles and parts has declined by 335,000, or about one-third.

– In June, employment in construction fell by 79,000, with losses spread throughout the industry. Since the start of the recession, construction employment has fallen by 1.3 million. Mining employment fell by 8,000 in June, about in line with the average monthly decline since its recent peak in October 2008.

– Employment in the professional and business services industry declined by 118,000 in June. This industry has shed 1.5 million jobs since an employment peak in December 2007. Within this sector, employment in temporary help services fell by 38,000 in June; this industry has lost 848,000 jobs since the start of the recession.

– Health care employment increased by 21,000 in June. Job gains in health care have averaged 21,000 per month thus far in 2009, down from an average of 30,000 per month during 2008. Employment in federal government fell by 49,000 in June, largely due to the layoff of workers temporarily hired to prepare for Census 2010.


– Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press