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US Retailers Added Thousands of Jobs in June

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The unemployment rate rose to 4.9% in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But job growth also occurred.

The U.S. economy added 287,000 nonfarm jobs last month, mostly in leisure and hospitality, healthcare and social assistance, and financial activities. Employment also increased in retail after remaining stagnant over the prior two months.

The retail industry added 30,000 jobs in June, with most of the gains (8,700) happening in general merchandise. Within that category, department stores added 4,300 jobs, after posting a decline of 2,100 people in May. Meanwhile, sporting goods stores gained 1,200 positions in June, but clothing and accessories stores lost 2,200. Non-store retailers, which mainly comprise e-commerce, hired 1,700.

The retail trade has added 313,000 jobs overall this year.

On the manufacturing side, textile mills laid off 300, 700 were cut from textile product mills and apparel producers lost 400.

In other news, the unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 4.9%, as the number of unemployed persons increased by 347,000 to 7.8 million. More than a quarter (25.8%) of that total comprised 2 million people who have been out of work for more than six months.

“There’s been a significant loss of momentum from the end of last year,” Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Nicolaus, told CNN. “The slower pace of the job creation matches the reduced pace of the economy.”

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