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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
                          Statement of
                           Keith Hall
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                     Thursday, July 3, 2008

     Labor market weakness persisted in June.  The unemployment
rate remained at 5.5 percent after rising by half a percentage
point in May.  Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend down
(-62,000) and has fallen by 438,000 in the first half of the
year, an average of 73,000 per month.  In June, job losses
continued in construction, manufacturing, and employment
services, while health care and mining added jobs.  Average
hourly earnings rose by 6 cents in June.

     Construction job losses totaled 43,000 in June and were
spread throughout the industry.  Employment in the industry has
fallen by 528,000 since its September 2006 peak; more than two-
thirds of the decline (-373,000) occurred since October 2007.

     Manufacturing employment also continued to fall in June
(-33,000); declines were widespread among the component
industries.  Factory job losses averaged 39,000 per month in the
first half of 2008, compared with average monthly losses of
22,000 in all of 2007.  The factory workweek decreased by 0.1
hour in June to 40.8 hours and has declined by 0.4 hour in the
last 3 months.

     Employment services lost 59,000 jobs in June, with half of
the decline in temporary help services.  Temporary help lost
154,000 jobs in the first half of 2008, about twice the number
lost in all of 2007.

     Health care employment continued to grow (15,000), although
the June gain was half the size of the average increase over the
prior 12 months.  Health care added 170,000 jobs in the first
half of 2008.  Employment in food services continued to trend up
over the month, although job growth has slowed markedly since
last October.

     Employment in mining continued to grow in June (8,000) and
has expanded by 208,000 since reaching a low in April 2003.
Gains have been concentrated in support activities for mining and
in oil and gas extraction.

     Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory
workers in the private sector rose by 6 cents, or 0.3 percent, in
June.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings rose by
3.4 percent.  From May 2007 to May 2008, the Consumer Price Index
for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose by 4.4

     Turning now to data from our survey of households, the
number of unemployed persons, at 8.5 million, was essentially
unchanged in June.  The unemployment rate held at 5.5 percent in
June, following an increase of half a percentage point in May
that largely reflected an increase in unemployment among youth
(16- to 24-year-olds).  In June, the jobless rates for young
people were essentially unchanged.

     The civilian labor force was little changed in June, after a
large increase in May.  The labor force participation rate, at
66.1 percent in June, was essentially unchanged over the month.

     The employment-population ratio, at 62.4 percent, also was
essentially unchanged in June but was down by six-tenths of a
percentage point from a year earlier.  Since June of last year,
the employment-population ratio for adult men has declined by
nine-tenths of a percentage point to 71.9 percent, while the
ratio for adult women, at 58.2 percent, has been about unchanged.
The number of persons working part time who prefer full-time
employment was little changed in June at 5.4 million but has
increased by 1.1 million over the last 12 months.

     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend
down in June, and the unemployment rate held at 5.5 percent.

Last Modified Date: July 03, 2008