Total Nonfarm Payroll Increases by 850,000 in June – Unemployment Holds Steady at 5.9%

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today, Friday, July 2nd, 2021, that Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 850,000 in June, following increases in May of 583,000 and 269,000 in April. In June, nonfarm payroll employment is up by 15.6 million since April 2020 but is down by -6.8 million, or -4.4%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. Notable job gains in June occurred in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail trade, and other services. Both the unemployment rate, at 5.9%, and the number of unemployed persons, at 9.5 million, were little changed in June. These measures are down considerably from their recent highs in April 2020 but remain well above their levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which were 3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020. In regard to construction employment sector, the BLS is reporting that construction employment changed little in June (-7,000). Over-the-month job losses in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-15,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000) were partially offset by a gain in residential.

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