US Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Rises To 4.4% In June


US unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent in June 2017 from the previous month's 16-year low of 4.3 percent and above market expectations of 4.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons was little changed at 7.0 million while the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.8 percent.

Since January, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed are down by 0.4 percentage point and 658,000, respectively. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.0 percent), adult women (4.0 percent), teenagers (13.3 percent), Whites (3.8 percent), Blacks (7.1 percent), Asians (3.6 percent), and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little or no change in June.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged at 1.7 million in June and accounted for 24.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 322,000. 

The labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in June and has shown no clear trend over the past year. The employment-population ratio (60.1 percent) was also little changed in June and has held fairly steady thus far this year. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 5.3 million, changed little in June. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

There were 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force, down by 197,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 514,000 discouraged workers in June, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in June had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
7/7/2017 12:45:14 PM