Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Companies dump another 467,000 jobs in June

The June employment report was just released by the Labor Department. Here's what the data showed:

* Total nonfarm payrolls fell by 467,000, That was much worse than the forecast for a reading of -367,000. Net revisions to the past couple of months lowered the job loss tally by 8,000. Still, job losses were widespread in June. Construction employment dropped 79,000, manufacturing employment fell 136,000, and service-sector employment fell by 244,000. Worth noting: Government employment is also fading fast. The sector fired 52,000 people, the worst showing since July 2007.

* The unemployment rate rose to 9.5% from 9.4% in May. That was slightly better than the average forecast for a reading of 9.6%, but still the worst reading going all the way back to August 1983 (a tie).

* Average hourly earnings were a disappointment. They were unchanged, against forecasts for a reading of +0.1% and a May reading of +0.2%. That was the worst number since February 2004. Average weekly hours worked dipped again to 33 from 33.1. That's the lowest reading in the history of the data series, which goes back to 1964.

* In other employment data, initial jobless claims were right in line this week -- 614,000 vs. a forecast for 615,000 and a previous reading of 630,000. Continuing claims dipped to 6.702 million from 6.755 million a week earlier. That as a big better than forecast.


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