US unemployment rate falls to 5.3 percent in June

Washington, (IANS) US unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point in June to 5.3 percent, the lowest level in seven years, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

That drop was the result of the creation of 223,000 new jobs and the departure of 432,000 people from the workforce in June, according to official figures.

After rising slightly in May, the labour force participation rate — the proportion of the US population that either has a job or is looking for one — fell in June to 62.6 percent, its lowest level in the past 38 years.

The US economy has created at least 200,000 new jobs in 13 of the last 15 months, with the gains spread over all regions of the country and nearly every sector except energy, which has been hard hit by the recent steep drop in oil prices, Efe news agency reported.

But average earnings of private-sector workers remained unchanged last month at an average of $24.95 an hour, an increase of just 2 percent over June 2014.

The length of the average work week also remained unchanged in June at 34.5 hours.

The job creation numbers for April and May, meanwhile, were downwardly revised to 187,000 (compared to an initial reading of 221,000 jobs added) and 254,000 (down from 280,000), respectively.

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