US jobless rate stuck at 8.2% in June

The United States added 80,000 jobs in June, the third month of weak jobs growth amid a sluggish economy that has kept hiring on hold, Labor Department data showed Friday.

The figure was far below what is needed just to keep pace with growth in the labor force, signaling no relief in sight for an unemployment rate that has held above 8.0 percent for more than three years.

The disappointing report toughened the challenge ahead for President Barack Obama, who is fighting to keep his job in the November presidential election against charges by Republican challenger Mitt Romney that his administration has failed to revive the economy.

The June jobless rate was unchanged from May at 8.2 percent, with 12.7 million people in the ranks of the unemployed.

Four out of 10 were considered long-term unemployed, without jobs for at least 27 weeks.

The private sector accounted for all of the jobs growth, creating 84,000 positions, while the public sector shed 4,000, continuing a downsizing trend as governments tighten budgets.

Three years after the Great Recession, most analysts had forecast a stronger 100,000 jobs created.

"The payroll change is a bad number that continues the recent trend. It suggests continued weak economic and earnings growth," said Dick Green at Briefing.com.

But, he added, "it isn't a horrible number that portends recession."

With the presidential election only four months away, the White House stressed that it was "important not to read too much into any one monthly report."

"Employment is growing, but it is not growing fast enough given the jobs deficit caused by the deep recession, said Alan Krueger, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

Krueger urged Congress to support job creation by ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and spending to bolster state and local government hiring.

Economists were divided over whether the slump in the employment market was bad enough to push the Federal Reserve into additional stimulus for the economy at its July 31-August 1 policy board meeting.

"We do not believe today's report is sufficient to shift the Fed into action at the next FOMC meeting," Barclays analyst Michael Gapen said.

Gapen noted that the Federal Open Market Committee had extended its bond-swap program to year-end at its June meeting, when the central bank slashed a half percentage point from its 2012 economic growth forecast to a tepid 2.4 percent rate at best.

Nomura economists highlighted the risk that instead of a temporary soft patch this could be the beginning of a longer-lasting downshift in economic activity.

"A persistent deterioration in labor market conditions would likely spur the Federal Reserve to adopt an even more accommodative stance," they said.

The data showed a sharp slowdown in hiring across most major industries during the second quarter as the economy struggled to gain traction against pressures from Europe's debt crisis.

The average number of jobs added in April, May and June was 75,000 jobs, only a third of the first quarter's pace.

"June marked a third disappointing month for the labor market and the payback from strong winter hiring no longer figured in the results," said Sophia Koropeckyj at Moody's Analytics.

Temporary services jobs surged by 25,200 in June, up from 18,600 in May.

The retail sector was the hardest hit, shedding 5,400 jobs, as consumers shut their wallets.

Analysts spotted a glimmer of silver lining in the data as the average number of hours worked and hourly earnings improved, pointing to a potential rebound in consumer spending which drives two-thirds of the economy.

"As a result of the pickup in earnings and workweek, combined with the moderate rise in payrolls, aggregate wages rose 0.6 percent," Briefing.com analysts said.

"That was the strongest gain since February when wages rose 0.8 percent and enough to support strong consumption growth in June."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • PSEi breaches 8,000 level, but profit-taking pared most gains

    [caption id="attachment_257092" align="alignleft" width="150"] PSEi breaches 8,000 mark (PSE photo)[/caption] Local share prices surged on a slew of positive news from abroad, sending the Philippine Stock Exchange index past the 8,000 mark for the first time in history. BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said the market rose due to “positive foreign equity portfolio flows and Fed Chair Yellen’s comments last week reiterating thethat the FOMC will be data dependent and …

  • Abandoned, hard-up husband hits P60-M Lotto pot

    Lady luck finally smiled on a hard-up tricycle driver, who endured being abandoned by his wife and seeing his children drop out of school before hitting the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/45 Lotto jackpot worth nearly P60 million. PCSO acting chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the 29-year old lucky bettor hit the jackpot in the March 20 draw by correctly picking the winning numbers 02-03-14-22-29-30, which corresponds to the birth anniversary dates of his family members. …

  • News In Brief

    P/$ RATE CLOSES AT P44.80/$1The peso exchange rate closed  lower  at P44.80  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from P44.76  last  Friday.  The weighted average rate  unchanged  to  P44.796  from  P44.796.  Total volume amounted to $340.6 million.PUMP PRICES RAISED THIS WEEKThe pump prices of gasoline products will be raised by P1.10 per liter this week and diesel by P0.60 per liter, according to the oil companies. In an advisory to the media, the oil …

  • Need for modern national sports complex underscored

    Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday pushed for the construction of a “state-of-the-art” and “highly scientific sports complex” that can be used by the country’s national athletes for high-level training and total wellness program. Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, said the government should at least provide decent support to its athletes by providing them with ultramodern sports venues and facilities if it wants them to improve the country’s …

  • Makati mayor slams PNP’s role in mayoralty row

    Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay denounced what he called apparent “misuse” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) force in the implementation of “selective suspension” of government officials not allied with the ruling party. Binay said he sympathizes with PNP personnel who often got caught in the middle of political conflicts, and called for an end to dirty political tactics. [caption id="attachment_257243" align="aligncenter" width="648"] THANKSGIVING MEAL – Vice President Jejomar C. …

  • EVAP warns of unscrupulous foreign electric vehicle suppliers

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines  (EVAP) has cautioned local manufacturers and end users against unscrupulous foreign EV suppliers that are flocking into the domestic market. In a sunrise industry like the electric vehicle industry, EVAP stressed that choosing the right partner or supplier is a difficult task. “In the absence of any track record to review, an end user is at a loss as to how to choose a reliable and competent supplier,” said Atty. Bodie Pulido, EVAP …

  • Mayors laud bill increasing tax revenue allocation for LGUs

    The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) is backing the proposed increase in the annual automatic allocations for local government units (LGUs) to boost inclusive growth with improved infrastructure, modernized agriculture and easier access to resources. Mayor Jess Burahan, secretary-general of the LMP said the empowerment of LGUs through added resources is a game changer in boosting inclusive growth. …

  • Freeze order against Jinggoy assets final; Bong guards face raps

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has turned down with finality the plea of Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to lift the freeze order on his properties amounting to more than P183 million. In a resolution released yesterday, the Fifth Division denied Estrada’s motion for reconsideration that sought that the court lift its writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment that was issued on February 17 that ordered the freeze of his properties. “As movant has not filed a counterbond and his arguments …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options