Anemic U.S. economy adds 18,000 jobs as unemployment rate hits 9.2%

Two years after the recession officially ended, employment growth has stalled, adding only 18,000 jobs to the economy last month.

Nonfarm payroll employment was “essentially unchanged” from May based on a nationwide payroll survey of employers. The unemployment rate inched up 0.1 points to 9.2 percent based on a separate survey of households. Since March, the unemployment rate has risen by 0.4 percentage point.

Job growth has slowed markedly over the past two months, rising an average of 22,000 for May and June, compared with an average of 215,000 jobs added per month from February through April of this year, according to the latest figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is currently scheduled to report the state’s jobless numbers on July 21, but the state government shutdown may affect that schedule. DEED’s headquarters offices are currently closed.

While the state’s unemployment insurance benefits program is continuing during the shutdown, other DEED services designed to help unemployed Minnesotans find work have been curtailed or stopped.

With the possible exception of services provided by third-party providers, most Minnesota WorkForce Centers are closed and Minnesota’s online Job Bank,  is shut down.

If the 23,000 laid-off state workers are not called back to work by July 20, those job losses will be reflected in the July payroll survey reported in August.

Based on the BLS monthly employer payroll survey, government employment continued to decline, dropping 39,000 in the month, offset by 57,000 private-sector job gains.

The largest private-sector job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality, (34,000) followed by professional and technical services (24,000) and healthcare and social services (17,400).

 The largest declines occurred in financial activities (15,000), temporary help services (12,000), construction (9,000) and non-durable goods manufacturing (9,000).

The number of unemployed has increased by 545,000 to 14.1 million people, while an additional 982,000 individuals were classified as “discouraged workers” in June, down from 1.2 million a year earlier.

The number of individuals working part time who preferred full-time work was essentially unchanged at 8.6 million.The labor force participation rate — the ratio of both the employed and unemployed as a percentage of the population as a whole — dipped down 0.1 point to 64.1 percent in June.

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