June Payrolls Drop as Census Workers Let Go

By Toni Vranjes

July 2, 2010

After months of employment gains, payrolls fell last month — reflecting the loss of temporary Census jobs.

The federal government laid off 225,000 Census workers in June, the Labor Department reported today. Overall, the economy shed 125,000 jobs last month. But the labor force shrank, and the jobless rate fell from 9.7 percent to 9.5 percent.

Meanwhile, employment in the private sector jumped by 83,000. Gains occurred in several industries, including “amusements, gambling, and recreation,” which added 28,000 jobs. Another expanding industry was temporary-help services, which grew by 21,000.

Despite the gains, the private-sector numbers fell short of expectations. But the Obama Administration tried to highlight the positive. Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, noted that private-sector employment has increased for six months in a row.

“These continued signs of healing are important, particularly given the recent volatility in world markets and the mixed behavior of other recent economic indicators,” Romer said in a blog post.

“However, much stronger job gains are needed to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and put the millions of unemployed Americans back to work,” she added.

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