Employers in the U.S. cut 467,000 jobs in June, the unemployment rate rose and hourly earnings stagnated, offering little evidence the Obama administration’s stimulus package is shoring up the labor market.
The payroll decline was more than forecast and followed a 322,000 drop in May, according to Labor Department figures released today in Washington. The jobless rate jumped to 9.5 percent, the highest since August 1983, from 9.4 percent.
Unemployment is projected to keep rising for the rest of the year just as the income boost from the stimulus package fades, undermining prospects for a sustained rebound in household purchases, analysts said. As companies from General Motors Corp. to Kimberly-Clark Corp. cut costs, the lack of jobs will limit any recovery.
Do we get to proclaim the stimulus package an unmitigated failure yet?
If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 16.5% in June, the highest on records dating to 1994.