Foodservice Equipment Reports

BLS Reports Another Month Of Weak Jobs Growth

Nonfarm payrolls in the U.S. continued to grow in June, with a net 80,000 new jobs added, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the number fell short of modest expectations of a 90,000 increase. For the third month in a row, the number was well short of the 180,000-200,000 monthly new jobs needed to bring down the unemployment rate, which remained at 8.2% last month. For the entire second quarter of 2012, jobs growth averaged only 75,000 a month, a disappointing fall off from the average monthly gains of 226,000 in the first quarter.

The operative term in much of the report was “unchanged.” It applied to the overall unemployment rate, all the major worker demographic and racial groups except blacks, the number of long-term unemployed, the participation rate, the employment-to-population ratio and the number of underemployed. But the report did contain some good news: Both the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force and the number of discouraged workers fell, signaling that some Americans were trying to re-enter the labor market.

Overall, 84,000 private sector jobs were created, down from the 105,000 new private jobs added in May, but in line with April’s gain. Nearly all private sub-sectors showed modest growth, including leisure and hospitality. The loss of government jobs moderated in June, with a net loss of 4,000, well below the 23,000 a month average loss of April and May.

While politicians and the equity markets parsed the numbers in predictable ways, many economists expressed caution about reading too much into the monthly numbers, particularly because there is concern that the very mild winter has skewed the seasonal adjustment mechanisms.