US unemployment rate sees slight uptick to 6.2%

DPA Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

The US unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 6.2 per cent in July, according to seasonally adjusted data from a household survey by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The figure follows 6.1 per cent unemployment in June, which was the lowest level since September 2008.

The bureau’s separate survey of employers found that payrolls expanded by 209,000 in July. The number of jobs added the previous month was revised upward to 298,000.

The unemployment rate rose even as jobs were added because more workers joined the workforce to look for jobs.

The White House praised the figures as showing the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000 positions. It was the first six-month stretch of growth at that level since 1997.

“The engines are revving a little bit louder,” President Barack Obama said. “It’s the longest streak of private sector job creation in our history.”

Reflecting back on the economic crisis he faced when he took office in January 2009, Obama said: “The challenges are no where near as daunting as when I first came into office.” But he complained that a gridlocked Congress has not put through his proposals for more job stimulus and “relief for middle-class families.” Initial government data showed on Wednesday that the US economy grew at an annual rate of 4 per cent in the second quarter, marking a turnaround after gross domestic product registered its first decline in three years in the previous quarter.

The Federal Reserve also said on Wednesday it would cut its monthly purchases of Government-linked bonds to $25 billion, down from the $35-billion level set at the central bank’s last meeting in June.

The latest cut continues a policy launched in January of regularly trimming the stimulus programme. Until then, the Fed had been buying $85 billion of bonds every month.

The unemployment rate has fallen from 7.5 per cent in June 2013.

Published on August 02, 2014

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