July 1 The jobs picture is currently the biggest concern of U.S. consumers and the slow rate of job creation a continuing drag on U.S. economic recovery.
The employment outlook may be improvingslowlybut its direction isn't firmly established.
Jobless claims in the week of June 26 rose 13,000 to 472,000, the U.S. Department of Labor announced. The four-week average rose slightly to 466,500, its highest level since March.
But non-farm private employment increased by 13,000 from May to June, according to the ADP National Employment Report. May employment figures were also revised upward slightly in the latest report.
The June increase in private unemployment was the fifth consecutive monthly gain, ADP reported. On average, however, the gain has been just 34,000 jobs per month. The ADP report excludes federal hiring, such as hiring for the U.S. census that has complicated recent overall job reporting. The ADP report suggests that the growth in private employment may have slowed from its recent rate as we move into summer.
The Monster Employment Index of online job demand from Monster.com rose seven points, as a majority of industries continue expanding hiring activity, the report states. Perhaps more significantly, the year-over-year growth rate was 21% in June, its highest since September 2006.
During June, online job availability rose in 13 of the index's 20 industry sectors and in 17 of the 23 occupational categories monitored.
Accommodation and food services saw the largest rise in online job demand in June. Manufacturing held steady, while transportation continued to grow. All metro markets tracked by the index showed positive annual growth
"Several industries and occupations are now displaying several months of positive growth trends in the Monster Employment Index and this would indicate some fundamental strengthening in these areas," said Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide.
"While substantial job creation has yet to occur to reduce the existing levels of unemployment and underemployment, job availability is improved from where it was a year ago," Harriott added.
A full report on the employment situation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled for tomorrow.