New York, NY, United States (4E) – U.S. employers hired less workers than what was estimated in June, signalling sluggish progress towards reducing unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its report Thursday showing that the economy just added 80,000 jobs, which means the unemployment rate remains unchanged at 8.2 percent.
Based on the Labor Department’s monthly Employment Situation Report, private payrolls expanded by 84,000, while the government lost 4,000 jobs. Most economists expected the labor market to grow by 100,000 and a steady unemployment rate.
Some analysts in Wall Street actually raised their forecasts based on recent data. A day earlier, the ADP released its report that 179,000 new jobs were added in June.
The disappointing monthly report adds to a string of bad news that suggest weakening in the U.S. economy in the past several months, which has sent U.S. stocks tumbling. The stock markets on Thursday opened lower amid concerns that hiring has slowed, resulting to restricted consumer spending and making the economy more vulnerable to a declining global economy.
Data revisions were also announced for the months of April and May. In April, the jobs gained figure was revised down from 77,000 to 68,000 while in May the labor market grew by 77,000 from its previously reported figure of 69,000.
The underemployment rate, which measures the number of part-time workers who are seeking full-time jobs and those who have given up looking for a job altogether, has slightly increased from 14.8 per cent to 14.9 per cent.
Futures were already lower even before the scheduled announcement in the morning, although there was some optimism in the market as some analysts feel that Washington is moving closer towards more stimulus.
The latest report will be a major concern for the Federal Reserve as it shows that economic growth is not strong enough to lower unemployment that has stood above 8 per cent since February 2009. Fed policy makers look at the unemployment rate closely as a primary indicator whether they need to proceed with further monetary easing.
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