Washington: The rebound in the US labor market accelerated in June as broader reopenings spurred more hiring last month, though filings for unemployment benefits remained elevated last week as coronavirus cases picked up.
Payrolls rose by 4.8 million in June after an upwardly revised 2.7 million gain in the prior month, according to a Labor Department report. The unemployment rate fell for a second month to 11.1 per cent, still far above the pre-pandemic half-century low of 3.5 per cent.
A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial applications for unemployment insurance in regular state programmes fell by less than expected, to 1.43 million, in the week ended June 27. Continuing claims - or claims for ongoing unemployment benefits in state programmes - rose slightly to 19.3 million in the week ended June 20.
Economists had forecast payrolls to rise by 3.23 million - the median in a range of 500,000 to 9 million - and an unemployment rate of 12.5 per cent.
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said it largely fixed a problem from recent months when many respondents had been misclassified as employed when they should have been labeled as unemployed. Adjusted for the errors, the June unemployment rate would have been about 1 percentage point higher - or 12.3 per cent, compared with 16.4 per cent in May.