U.S. Unemployment Remains At 8.2%

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs in June according to data released this morning by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, but that wasn’t enough to lower the unemployment rate from 8.2 percent. In the second quarter, employment growth averaged 75,000 jobs per month – a sharp decline from the first quarter’s average monthly gain of 226,000 jobs.

According to the latest data, 12.7 million Americans are unemployed and 5.4 million have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. At the end of the year, the long-term unemployed will lose their benefits unless Congress acts to renew the federal extended benefits that kick in once someone has exhausted their initial 26 weeks of unemployment checks from the state.

Extended benefits are already being cut off for more than 26,000 New Jersey residents. When Gov. Chris Christie announced that New Jersey had added 17,600 jobs in May, that triggered a provision in federal formula to discontinue the state’s eligibility for a tier of benefits available to “high unemployment states” that covered workers collecting unemployment for between 79 and 99 weeks.

Currently unemployed workers will still be able to collect benefits for up to 78 weeks, or until the federal program ends on Dec. 29, whichever comes first. Newly unemployed workers will only be able to collect the 26 weeks of benefits available from the state, since the federal program will end before they would become eligible for it.

Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in June, with temporary help services accounting for 25,000 of the increase. Employment also rose in management and technical consulting services (+9,000) and in computer systems design and related services (+7,000). Employment in professional and business services has grown by 1.5 million since its most recent low point in September 2009.

Employment in manufacturing continued to edge up in June (+11,000). Growth in the second quarter averaged 10,000 per month, compared with an average of 41,000 per month during the first quarter. In June, employment increased in motor vehicles and parts (+7,000) and in fabricated metal products (+5,000).

Employment continued to trend up in health care (+13,000) and wholesale trade (+9,000) in June.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change.

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