June BLS Report: 288,000 Jobs Added, Jobless Rate Drops 0.2%

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Source: June 2014 BLS report

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its June 2014 unemployment report, which showed an overall monthly gain of 288,000 jobs, considerably higher than the 215,000 economists were expecting. The unemployment rate also saw an impressive decline of 0.2 percentage points, dropping from 6.3% to 6.1%, which is the lowest we’ve seen since September 2008.

This data confirms the continuation of positive job growth in 2014. June is now the fifth straight month in a row in which we’ve seen gains in 200,000+ new jobs, and the unemployment rate is also steadily declining.

Revisions to prior months showed that both April and May had seen growth of 29,000 more than previously reported. The May payroll number was revised from +217,000 to +224,000 and the April numbers were revised from +282,000 to +304,000.

A number of sectors showed impressive growth in June, including retail trade (+40,000), food services and drinking places (+33,000), health care and social assistance (+33,700), transportation and warehousing (+17,000), manufacturing (+16,000) and wholesale trade (+15,000). The professional and business services sector had one of the largest gains of the month (+67,000, up +12,000 from the previous month), with numerous sub-sectors showing positive gains, including management of companies and enterprises (+8,000), computer systems design and related services (+7,000) and temporary services (+10,100).

Taking revisions from the past three months, overall job growth has averaged 272,000 new jobs. This time last year, the job gains were hovering between 150,000 and 200,000. Increases in our second quarter average are a clear indicator that U.S. economic activity is continuing to improve.

While the release data shows many positive indicators, not all of it is good news. The labor participation rate — those who are employed and unemployed, but actively looking for work — remained unchanged for the month of June, at 62.8%.  This number is considered high and has not budged since last October. The employment-population ratio, at 59.0 percent, has also seen little change over the month, but has seen increase of 0.3 percentage points over the past 12 months.

At Adecco, many of our clients are optimistic about hiring and have staff augmentation plans in place.

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