The U.S. Department of Labor released the official June 2010 employment situation summary this morning and the June 2010 unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent, down from 9.7 percent in May 2010. Although a decline in the overall unemployment rate could be considered good news, the drop came along with a loss of 125,000 jobs during the month. This puts an end to the positive year to date job growth numbers.
Although nonfarm payroll employment was down by 125,000 during the month, there were only 14.6 million unemployed Americans, down from 15 million the month before. I use the term only very loosely as 14.6 unemployed Americans is far too many. The long-term unemployed remained unchanged at approximately 6.8 million or about 45.5 percent of total unemployment.
The drop in nonfarm payroll employment was not altogether unexpected. Nearly a quarter million Census 2010 workers have left their temporary positions and so that group makes up a big chunk of the job losses reported for June. Overall, private sector employment increased by 83,000 during June but unemployment in the private sector is down by 7.8 million when compared to December 2007 - the start of the recession.
While it is nice to see the unemployment rate drop below the 9.7 percent that we've seen several times this year, the news is not good for the more than one million Americans that either have lost their unemployment benefits or will be losing them soon if Congress fails to act. Unfortunately, the decision to extend unemployment benefits will not be made until after the 4th of July holiday break. This leaves a bad taste in the mouth of those Americans waiting on a decision to be made in Washington.