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June jobs report shows bright start to summer

August 5, 2013 | Posted at 10:26 am

The U.S. job market continued its recent run of good form after the Labor Department released its figures for June.

According to Reuters, 195,000 net positions were added to employer payrolls in the last month, with the national unemployment rate holding relatively steady at at 7.6 percent. Economic analysts had expected the employment figures to be around the 165,000 mark, with a drop in the jobless rate to 7.5 percent, but the figures are a further indication that the economy is continuing to strengthen as more people enter the workforce.

This was the third consecutive month that the workforce had increased, with all of the gains coming in the private sector where payrolls increased by 202,000. Government jobs dropped in June, with 7,000 people now looking for employment although analysts have stressed that this is unlikely to be linked to the series of spending cuts otherwise known as the sequester.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 53,000, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the sector – which includes management, technical consulting and information technology – has added 624,000 positions in the year to date. Financial services positions – deemed to include accounting and other related activities – increased by 17,000 in June, while the BLS also revealed that the average workweek for private sector employees is still believed to be around 34.5 hours.

Other highlights of the June report were that average hourly earnings were up by 0.4 percent, while consumer-centric sectors such as retail – a strong indicator of economic strength – showed growth, with 37,100 employees added on a national basis. Employment also rose in leisure or hospitality and health care, most other sectors reporting little to no significant change in payrolls.

The BLS also revised its payroll figures for April and May, with the agency reporting that 70,000 more jobs were cumulatively created in those months than previously advised.