June 2014 Employment Report by Bruce Steinberg: June unemployme​nt down; Jobs up; Temporary Help new highs (again!)


Quick Recap

Although Boston will be shooting off its fireworks a night early because of anticipated bad weather on the Fourth, it looks like the Bureau of Labor Statistics gave the rest of the country — at least, those who follow employment and jobs data — something to celebrate the day before July Fourth as well.

The unemployment rate resumed its downward direction to 6.1 percent in June after holding steady at 6.3 percent in April and May; a year ago, it was 7.5 percent. Although labor force growth was relatively weak, the drop in the unemployment rate was because of the right reasons — more people employed and fewer people unemployed. For more detail, see the “Household Survey” section at the bottom of this column.

On the other side of the monthly employment report, the total number of jobs was up 288,000 in most sectors, with at least improvement in most that weren’t able to catch the jobs train as it continued to proceed up the hill at a steady, although not blistering, pace.

Jobs Report

Total private-sector jobs grew by 262,000 in June, which was a bit better than the 224,000 added in May, but not as much as the 278,000 that was added in April.

The number of jobs in the private Goods-producing sector grew by 26,000 in June, which was better than the 22,000 this sector added in May, but not as strong as the 50,000 (mainly because of a surge in Construction hiring) in ‘post-harsh winter April.’

  • The pace of building new jobs in the Construction sector continued to slow in June with only 6,000 more jobs after adding 9,000 in May and bringing on 36,000 more in April.
  • Manufacturers did better in June with an increase of 16,000, which was clearly an improvement from May’s gain of 11,000. The pace of new job growth was durable in Durable goods that added 17,000 in June, the same amount it added in May. And although Nondurable goods declined by 1,000 jobs in June, that was an improvement from the 6,000 decline of May.
  • Mining and logging doubled its output of jobs with the addition of 4,000 in June, with the mining portion of this sector responsible for a majority of those new jobs; in May, Mining and logging added 2,000.

The private Service-providing sector did quite well relative to recent trends with job growth of 236,000 in June that was better than the 202,000 it added in May as well as the 228,000 it increased by in April.

  • The Retail trade sector rang up 40,200 more jobs in June that was better than the 10,500 it added in May but not quite as strong as the 43,000 it grew up in ‘post-apocalyptic winter April.’
  • The pace at Wholesale trade followed the same basic pattern with a gain of 15,100 jobs in June after adding 9,000 in May and increasing by 15,900 in April.
  • The Transportation and warehousing sector coasted a bit with 16,600 more jobs in June than in May when it added 18,800 but better than the 12,000 growth of April.
  • Interest apparently perked up in Financial activities employers who added 17,000 in June that was the same as the amount of the two previous months added together (May was up 8,000 and April was up 9,000).
  • The Professional and business services sector’s growth appeared to follow the ‘recovering-from-the-harsh-winter pattern’ with a gain of 67,000 in June that was better than May (up 58,000) but not as solid as April (up 72,000). Computer systems design and related services added 6,900 jobs in June and again was outperformed by Management and technical consulting services, which is a smaller sector, that grew by 8,200.
  • The Education and health services sector added a total of 38,000 jobs in June with the sector’s highly seasonal Educational services sub-sector growing by only 4,900. Therefore, growth in the Health care and social assistance portion was 33,700 in June, which was much weaker than the 58,800 it grew by in May. Home health care services was up by 3,500 in June, which was less than half May’s growth of 7,200.
  • New hiring in the Leisure and hospitality sector tapered off with 39,000 more jobs in June than May, which increased by 45,000 from April.

The total number of Government jobs was up by 26,000. The federal government added 2,000; State government was up by also 2,000; and Local government increased by 22,000.

Temporary Help Services Roundup

Temporary Help Services continues to increase and reach new highs at a steady, albeit slightly diminishing, rate of growth.

In June, Temporary help services was up 10,100 to 2,869,600, which was a 0.4 percent month-over-month increase and year-over-year growth of 8.1 percent.

For May, the job number was up 15,500, or 0.5 percent sequentially and up 8.5 percent year-on-year; in April, temporary help added 15,100 jobs, which was also 0.5 percent sequential growth and up 8.9 percent year-on-year.

And Temporary help service’s market share — that is its portion of all jobs — again reached an all-time high of 2.068 percent in June compared to 2.065 percent in May (it was 2.057 percent in April).

Bruce Steinberg1

Household Survey

The June 6.1 percent unemployment rate was a 0.2 percent drop from May’s 6.3 percent, the same it was in April. In February and March it was 6.7 percent, which was incrementally higher than the 6.6 percent of January.

That 6.1 percent unemployment rate was the result of a labor force that grew by only 81,000 as the number of employed persons grew by 407,000 and the number of unemployed persons declined by 325,000. The number not in the labor force increased by 111,000.

The employment-to-population ratio incrementally increased to 59.0 percent in June and was 58.7 a year earlier in June 2013. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.8 percent, but it was lower than the 63.5 percent a year earlier. The number of discouraged workers continued to decline with only 676,000 of them compared to 1,027,000 a year earlier in June 2013.