Jobs Report: Government Employment, Jobless Rate Relatively Unchanged

The U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs in June, unemployment remained steady at 8.2 percent and state and local governments added another 4,000 jobs, according to Friday's monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
by | July 6, 2012

The United States economy added 80,000 jobs in June, and unemployment remained steady at 8.2 percent, while state and local government employment was largely unchanged, according to the jobs report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 80,000 new jobs came in below most analysts' expectations and made June the third consecutive month of relatively tepid job growth. The unemployment rate stuck at 8.2 percent from May, after ticking up from 8.1 percent in April.

The number of long-term unemployed also held at 5.4 million people, while the broader measure of unemployment that includes those who have stopped looking for work increased slightly from 14.8 percent in May to 14.9 percent in June.

State and local governments added a combined 3,000 jobs last month, a relatively insignificant change statistically. Since last July, state and local governments have shed jobs eight months out of 12. As Governing has previously documented, state and local governments reduced their employment drastically in 2011, cutting more than 250,000 jobs.

But recent numbers, including June's, suggest mass layoffs are likely in the past. Employment has been steady through 2012 -- never fluctating by more than 8,000 jobs gained or lost. By comparison, state and local governments cut 70,000 jobs in August 2010.

“We’re in a trough now at the local government level,” Elizabeth Kellar, president of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, told Governing in March. “In the next year or two, we may begin to see things pick up very gradually in the places that have been hardest hit.”


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