Friday, July 08, 2005

US Jobless Rate at 5% Lowest Since September 2001

U.S. June jobless rate falls to 4-year low of 5% : "The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4-year low of 5% in June as the economy added 146,000 payroll jobs, the Labor Department said Friday. Payroll growth was 48,000 under the 194,000 expected by economists, but April and May hiring were revised up by a total of 44,000. May's payrolls were revised to 104,000 from 78,000 previously. Economists had expected the jobless rate to remain at 5.1%. The unemployment rate was last at 5% in September 2001.

Average hourly earnings rose 3 cents, or 0.2%, to $16.06 in June, as expected. Earnings are up 2.7% in the past year. The average workweek was unchanged at 33.7 hours in June. The factory workweek was also unchanged at 40.4 hours. Total hours worked in the economy rose 0.2%. Among 278 industries, 55% were hiring in June, down from 57% in May. The report shows continued improvement in the labor market.

It is not likely to have much impact on the Federal Reserve's deliberations about whether to keep raising interest rates. The Federal Open Market Committee will have the July employment report in hand when it next meets on Aug. 9."
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For the negative spin on the same news the NYT's report.

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