Overall employment up; manufacturing continues to decline

July 8, 2005

Nonfarm employment increased by 146,000 in June, and the unemployment rate continued to trend down, reaching 5.0 percent—the lowest in almost four years—the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Over the month, payroll employment continued to grow in several industries, notably professional and business services and health care.

The jobless rate has trended downward since February 2005 and now is 1.3 percentage points lower than its most recent high in June 2003.

While the overall employment picture has improved, manufacturing employment has declined for the fourth month in a row. In June, manufacturing employment fell by 24,000. Motor vehicles and parts lost 18,000 jobs over the month. Job losses in nondurable goods manufacturing were small but widespread, totaling 12,000. These declines were partially offset by a gain of 7,000 in computer and electronic products. Elsewhere in the goods-producing sector, both mining and construction employment continued to trend up over the month.