Job losses continue to have impact

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The unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent in June, but the number of people with jobs continued to trend down. American employers cut jobs by 62,000 for the sixth straight month in June, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The jobless rate was 4.6 percent last year at this time. Since peaking in December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 438,000.

Thursday’s report showed that employment continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and employment services, while health care and mining added jobs. Average hourly earnings rose by six cents, or 0.3 percent, over the month.

Manufacturing employment fell by 33,000. Job losses were widespread throughout the industry, with notable declines in fabricated metal products, printing and related support activities, and wood products. Employment in motor vehicles and parts edged up by 6,000 over the month, largely reflecting the return of workers from strikes and related shutdowns. During the last 12 months, manufacturing has lost 353,000 jobs.

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