Economic Research and Data

Economic Trends

Filling you in on the current state of the economy

07.09.07

Economic Activity and Labor

The Employment Situation

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 132,000 jobs in June, edging above an average forecast of 128,000. April and May payrolls were revised upward a cumulative 75,000 (to 122,000 and 190,000, respectively). The average monthly gain in the first half of 2007 was 145,000, which was a step down from the first two quarters of 2006 (+188,000).

The service sector showed continued firmness, gaining 135,000 jobs. Education and health services rose sharply, posting its highest increase (+59,000) since August 2006. Government (+40,000) and leisure and hospitality (+39,000) showed strength, but there were pockets of weakness in retail trade (-24,000) and professional business services (-9,000). In 2006 retail trade averaged a monthly loss of 3,000 jobs per month, and professional business services averaged a monthly gain of 42,000.

The goods-producing sector lost only 3,000 jobs, which was better than its average monthly loss of 12,000 jobs so far in 2007. The construction industry edged up to a modest increase of 12,000 and nearly counteracted the continued losses in manufacturing (-18,000). Manufacturing job losses were concentrated in primary metals, computer equipment, wood products, and textile mills.

Labor Market Conditions

        Average monthly change
(thousands of employees, NAICS)
  2004 2005 2006 Jan-May 2007 June 2007
Payroll employment
172
212
189
148
132
  Goods-producing
28
32
9
–14
–3
    Construction
26
35
11
–3
12
    Manufacturing
0
–7
–7
–13
–18
      Durable goods
8
2
0
–12
–13
      Nondurable goods
–9
–9
–6
–1
–5
  Service-providing
144
180
179
162
135
    Retail trade
16
19
–3

13

–24
    Financial activitiesa
8
14
16
5
1
    PBSb
38
57
42
18
–9
      Temporary help services
11
18
–1
–8
–8
    Education and health services
33
36
41
46
59
Leisure and Hospitality
25
23
38
31
39
  Government
14
14
20
28
40
                 
  Average for period (percent)
Civilian unemployment rate
5.5
5.1
4.6
4.5
4.5

a.Financial activities include the finance, insurance, and real estate sector and the rental and leasing sector.
b. PBS is professional business services (professional, scientific, and technical services, management of companies and enterprises, administrative and support, and waste management and remediation services.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

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