Non-farm Employment, Wages Disappoint in June; More Americans Forced to Work Part-Time

Craig Bannister | July 7, 2023
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Led by continued growth in government, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 point to 3.6% in June – though, non-farm employment and wages recorded lackluster gains – according to seasonally-adjusted data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Compared to May, employment in the non-farm sector was up 209,000 jobs last month – falling far short of the monthly average increases for both the first six months (278,000) of this year and full-year 2022 (399,000).

Employment in government increased by 60,000 in June, as employment continued to trend up in state (+27,000) and local government (+32,000). Overall, government has added an average of 63,000 jobs per month thus far in 2023 – more than twice the average of 23,000 per month in 2022.

Faltering market conditions reduced more American workers to part-time status in June, as the number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons increased by 452,000 to 4.2 million, partially reflecting an increase in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions.

Persons employed part-time for economic reasons are individuals who would have preferred full-time employment, but were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 12 cents, or 0.4%, to $33.58 – well beneath the 4.4% increase of the last 12 months. In June, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11 cents, or 0.4%, to $28.83.

While growth of the non-farm economy fell short of expectations in June, there was an increase in total employment:

  • 160,994,000 Americans were employed in June, an increase of 273,000.
  • The number of unemployed Americans – no job, but looking – decreased by 140,000 to 5,957,000,
  • June’s 3.6% unemployment fell one-tenth of a point from 3.7% in May.
  • Americans counted as not in the workforce – no job and not looking for one – rose by 50,000 in June to 99,850,000.
  • Number of people not in the labor force who want a job dipped from 5.5 million to 5.4 million.
  • Non-farm economy added 209,000 jobs last month, well below the monthly averages of both the first six months (278,000) of this year and full-year 2022 (399,000).


By demographic group, the unemployment rate rose for Hispanics, Asians, Blacks and teenagers (seasonally adjusted):

  • Hispanics 4.3%, UP from 4.0% in June.
  • Adult men 3.5%, DOWN from 3.4%.
  • Adult women 3.1 DOWN from 3.3%
  • Whites 3.1 DOWN from 3.3%
  • Asians 3.2%, UP from 2.9%.
  • Blacks 6.0, UP from 5.6%.
  • Teenagers (16-19) 11.6%, UP from 11.1%


Participation in the labor force was little changed again in June:

  • The labor force participation rate held at 62.6% for the fifth straight month, the highest it's been in three years.
  • The non-institutional population in the United States was 266,801,000, up from 266,618,000
  • 166,951,000 were participating in the labor force, up from 166,818,000


The growth of government overshadowed that of other sectors in June:

  • Government employment: +60,000.
  • Professional and business services: +21,000 jobs.
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: +23,000 jobs.
  • Leisure and hospitality: +21,000.
  • Health care, +41,000 jobs.


Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; information; financial activities; and other services.

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.