Friday’s employment report showed that payroll employment grew by 195,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent. The charts below provide historical context for the latest figures. You can see more in our chartbook.
Private employers added jobs for the 40th straight month, and total payroll employment (private plus government) grew for the 33rd straight month. As has often been the case in the slow recovery from the Great Recession, declines in government employment in June held total job gains below private sector job gains.
Payroll employment remains lower than it was at the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, despite gains averaging about 200,000 jobs a month this year.
The unemployment rate remained stubbornly high at 7.6 percent in June. Encouragingly, however, the labor force (people working and actively looking for work) grew for the third consecutive month, and the labor force participation rate (the percentage of the population in the labor force) has started to edge up.
Nevertheless, the percentage of the population with a job, which plunged in the Great Recession to levels last seen in the early 1980s, has remained depressed below 60 percent for more than four years.
Although it has been edging down, long-term unemployment remains a significant concern. Nearly two-fifths of the unemployed (36.7 percent) have been looking for work for six months or more.