June Payrolls Grow by 121,000; Unemployment Rate Holds at 4.6%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 121,000 in June to 135.2 million and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.6%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Employment continued to trend upward in several service-providing industries and in mining. 

Average hourly earnings rose by 8 cents to $16.70 in June. For the last 12 months, wages have gone up by 3.9%, the largest annual increase since June 2001.

The average workweek for production or nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.9 hours in June, seasonally adjusted. The manufacturing workweek also rose by 0.1 hour to 41.3 hours, while factory overtime was unchanged at 4.6 hours.

Health care employment continued to trend up in June, with a gain of 19,000. Employment in professional and business services also continued to grow in June (+25,000). Job gains in the industry have averaged 27,000 per month so far in 2006, compared with 41,000 per month in 2005. In June, employment edged up in accounting and bookkeeping services and in computer systems design. 

The number of unemployed persons (7.0 million) was essentially unchanged in June, and the unemployment rate held at 4.6%. The unemployment rate for adult men declined to 4.0%, while the unemployment rate for teenagers edged up to 15.4%.

The civilian labor force (151.3 million) and total employment (144.4 mil- lion) continued to trend up in June. The labor force participation rate was essentially unchanged over the month at 66.2% and was about the same as a year earlier. The employment-population ratio, at 63.1%, also was essentially unchanged over the month, but was 0.4 percentage point higher than a year earlier.

The number of persons who held more than one job decreased by 320,000 in June to 7.4 million, after edging up in May. This group accounted for 5.1% of total employment in June, down from 5.4% a year earlier.

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