The U.S. economy added 4.8 million new jobs in June, with unemployment declining for the second month in a row.
Unemployment decreased by 2.2 percentage points in June, to 11.1 percent. The number of unemployed fell to 17.8 million, a 3.2 million decrease.
More than 40 percent of the new jobs were in the leisure and hospitality industries, as the nation begins to emerge from government-imposed lockdowns. Employment in that industry increased by 2.1 million.
“Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, education and health services, other services, manufacturing, and professional and business services,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The labor force participation rate is now 1.9 percentage points below its level of this past February before the coronavirus crisis hit the nation. Labor force participation increased by 0.7 percentage point in June.
Retail trade employment increased by 740,000 in June. The improvements in May and June have made up for 812,000 of the 2.1 million jobs lost in March and April because of the government-mandated lockdowns.
Manufacturing employment increased by 356,000, and employment in construction rose by 150,000.
Average wages fell slightly as lower-paid employees found jobs after having been laid off as a result of the government mandates, the BLS reports:
“In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls fell by 35 cents to $29.37. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees decreased by 23 cents to $24.74 in June. The decreases in average hourly earnings largely reflect job gains among lower-paid workers; these changes put downward pressure on the average hourly earnings estimates.”