WASHINGTON, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in June, but nonfarm payroll employment declined by 125,000 workers, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The decline in payroll employment reflected a decrease of 225,000 workers among the temporary employees working on the 2010 Census. Private sector payroll employment edged up 83,000 jobs.
The Labor Department said that both the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate declined in June.
The number of total unemployed Americans was 14.6 million, down from about 15 million in the previous month.
The government revised data for April and May to show 25,000 more jobs created than were earlier reported.
Still, about 8 million jobs have been lost since the start of the recession in December 2007.
Economists expected private payrolls to rise by about 110,000. The report indicates that businesses were still reluctant to hire as the economy slowly recovers from the worst recession since the 1930s.
The unemployment rate fell as 652,000 people gave up on their job searches and left the labor force. People who are no longer looking for work aren't counted as unemployed.
In June, payrolls in the U.S. services sector rose by 91,000 workers after increasing 20,000 in the previous month. Temporary help employment rose 20,500, while retail hiring fell 6,600.
In the goods-producing sector, payrolls fell 8,000 in June, pulled down by declines in construction as home building dropped sharply following the end of a government tax credit. Manufacturing employment rose 9,000 after a 32,000 gain in May.
Many economists do not expect that the unemployment rate will drop significantly in the coming months. The Federal Reserve, the central bank, is also in a bind. It has held benchmark overnight interest rates close to zero since December 2008 to boost the economy.
Analysts said that the economic recovery is fragile and high unemployment remains a key challenge for the Obama administration and the Democrats in the mid-term election in November.
- U.S. Representatives block unemployment aid 2010-06-30