The number of employed Americans hit a record high of 153,168,000 in June, according to latest numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There were 245,000 more Americans who gained employment over the month and more individuals joined the labor force as well.
There were 361,000 more Americans who joined the labor force in June, while 170,000 fewer left. From May to June, the number of those in the labor force grew from 159,784,000 to 160,145,000.
The number of Americans not participating in the labor force declined from 94,983,000 in May to 94,813,000 in June. The bureau counts those not in the labor force as people who do not have a job and did not actively seek one in the past four weeks.
The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the population that has a job or actively looked for one in the past month, increased slightly to 62.8 percent in June from 62.7 percent in May.
Although more Americans joined the labor force and found jobs in the month of June, the number of unemployed also increased. In May, there were 6,861,000 who were unemployed and in June that number grew to 6,977,000.
The unemployment rate for all Americans increased from 4.3 percent in May to 4.4 percent in June. (May’s unemployment rate of 4.3 percent was the lowest level seen in 16 years.)
This measure does not account for those individuals who have dropped out of the labor force—it simply measures the percent of those who did not have a job but actively sought one over the month.
The “real” unemployment rate, otherwise known as the U-6 measure, was 8.4 percent in May, which increased to 8.6 percent in June.
There were 5,326,000 Americans working part-time in June who would rather have a full-time job but cited economic reasons for not having such employment. This number declined by 107,000 over the month.
According to the bureau, involuntary part-time workers are “persons who indicated that they would like to work full time but were working part time (1 to 34 hours) because of an economic reason, such as their hours were cut back or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”
“After last month’s surge in jobs activity, small business owners seem to be in a holding pattern while they wait to see what Congress will do with taxes and health care,” said National Federation of Independent Business president and CEO Juanita Duggan.
“Small business optimism has been flying high for months based on the expectation that Congress will cut taxes and reform health care,” she said. “Washington has not delivered on the small business agenda yet, and small business owners are paying attention.”