Unemployment Remains Flat at 8.2%
The national unemployment rate held steady at 8.2% in June despite 80,000 new jobs being added to employer payrolls during the month, the Department of Labor announced on Friday.
While there were more jobs added in June than in May (77,000), some economists were disappointed by the latest unemployment report. Prior to the Department of Labor's news release, the median estimate of jobs gained for June was 100,000 among economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, and economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires predicted the same.
"They certainly are not rosy figures," Libby Bierman, assistant analyst at financial data company Sageworks, said. "But I still think there is some good news. Private companies are growing and they are a huge engine for job growth."
Bierman said the lack of hiring was curious considering the private sector is undergoing significant growth in sales and net profit margin. Private companies experienced 10% annual growth in sales in June, but remained mostly unwilling to hire new employees, she said.
The number of unemployed Americans remained essentially unchanged for June, coming in at 12.7 million, the department said. Long-term unemployment also stayed flat with 5.4 million Americans--41.9% of the unemployed--still jobless for 27 or more weeks.
"For whatever reason, companies don’t feel comfortable hiring and increasing overhead," Bierman said.
A possible explanation could be political uncertainty, specifically as it pertains to the upcoming election.
Political gridlock concerning economic policy has left business owners hesitant to make changes, especially when it comes to hiring, Bierman said.
Earlier this week, new data was released suggesting that the job market was growing.