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July 12, 2000
Jobless Rate at 4%, Private Payrolls Growing

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The unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in June, continuing the same low rates seen in May. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also says that average hourly earnings increased by 5 cents over the month and by 3.6 percent over the year.

Total nonfarm payroll employment was static overall in June, although there have been some heavy distortions in this figure for the past few months because of the government's huge hirings for census work. Private-sector payroll employment rose by 206,000, following a decline of 165,000(as revised) in May. The June increase in private payrolls was largely offset by a decline in federal government employment, as 190,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work.


The number of unemployed persons, 5.6 million, and the unemployment rate, 4.0 percent, did not change much in June. The jobless rate has been in a 3.9- to 4.1-percent range since October 1999.

Unemployment rates for the major worker groups--adult men (3.2 percent), adult women (3.8 percent), teenagers (11.6 percent), whites (3.4 percent), blacks (7.9 percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent)--showed little or no change over the month

Total Employment and the Labor Force

Total employment rose by 464,000 to 135.2 million, seasonally adjusted, in June. The employment-population ratio--the proportion of the population age 16 and older with jobs--was 64.5 percent, compared with 64.3 percent in May. During the first 4 months of this year, the employment-population ratio had ranged from 64.7 to 64.9 percent. In June, the civilian labor force was about unchanged at 140.8 million, seasonally adjusted. Approximately 7.3 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) held more than one job in June. These multiple jobholders represented 5.4 percent of total employment, compared with 5.6 percent a year earlier.


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