Number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) sits at 1.1 million

Upper Cumberland/Tennessee – Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in June, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.6%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Employment continued to trend up in government, health care, social assistance and construction, according to two monthly surveys, the household survey, which measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics and the establishment survey, which measures nonfarm employment, hours and earnings by industry.

Both the unemployment rate, which sits at 3.6% and the number of unemployed persons, which sits at 6 million, changed little in June. The unemployment rate has ranged from 3.4% to 3.7% since March 2022. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Whites declined to 3.1% while jobless rates for adult men (3.4%), adult women (3.1%), teenagers (11%), Blacks (6%), Asians (3.2%) and Hispanics (4.3%) showed little change over the month.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) sits at 1.1 million accounting for 18.5% of the unemployed. In June, the labor force participation rate was 62.6% for the fourth consecutive month and the employment-population ratio, at 60.3%, was unchanged.

The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons (those who prefer full-time employment but are working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs) increased by 452,000 to 4.2 million, partially reflecting an increase in the number of people whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions.

The number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.4 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the four weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, decreased by 112,000 to 310,000 in June.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000, as employment in government, health care, social assistance and construction continued to trend up. Nonfarm employment has grown by an average of 278,000 per month over the first six months of 2023, lower than the average of 399,000 per month in 2022.

Employment in government increased by 60,000. However, government employment is below its pre-pandemic Feb. 2020 level by 161,000 or 0.7%. Health care added 41,000 jobs with growth in hospitals (+15,000), nursing and residential care facilities (+12,000 and home health care services (+9,000)). Dentist offices lost 7,000 jobs while health care added an average of 42,000 jobs per month thus far this year, similar to the average gain of 46,000 per month in 2022.

Social assistance added 24,000 jobs, and construction employment continued to trend upward (+23,000). Employment in professional and business services changed little in June (+21,000) while professional, scientific and technical services employment continued an upward trend (+23,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality was little changed (+21,000). This marks the third consecutive month of little employment change for this industry. Employment in the industry remains below its Feb. 2020 level by 369,000 or 2.2%.

Retail trade employment changed little in June (-11,000) while employment continued to decline in building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-10,000), furniture, home furnishings, electronics and appliance retailers (-5,000).

Motor vehicle and parts dealers added 6,000 jobs.

Overall, employment in retail trade has shown little net change over the year. Employment in transportation and warehousing changed little (-7,000) and has shown no clear trend in recent months. Employment edged down in couriers and messengers (-7,000) and in warehousing and storage (-7,000) while air transportation added 3,000 jobs.

Employment showed little or no change in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; information and financial activities. In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 12 cents or 0.4%, to $33.58.

Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.4%.

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