WASHINGTON (July 2, 2010)--A wave of census layoffs reduced the nation's payrolls in June for the first time in six months, while private employers added a modest number of jobs, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.
The unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent, its lowest level in almost a year.
The Labor Department said employers cut 125,000 jobs last month, the most since last October.
The end of 225,000 temporary census jobs drove the loss.
Meanwhile, businesses added 83,000 workers to their payrolls, an improvement from May.
The unemployment rate fell as more people out of work gave up on their job searches and left the labor force.
People who are no longer looking for work aren't counted as unemployed.
President Barack Obama said Friday the economy is headed in the right direction, but not fast enough to satisfy him or many Americans.
Mr. Obama said that overall, the economy has been creating jobs in 2010 and he promised to continue to help the unemployed find work.
The president spoke before flying to West Virginia for a memorial service for Sen. Robert Byrd.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Friday the administration’s programs have put the economy on the right track, but there’s still work to do.
“While this steady private sector job growth is encouraging, the large number of Americans without a job reminds us we need to continue working to create jobs and grow the economy,” she said.
“That’s why the administration continues to work to extend some of the tax credits, unemployment assistance and other programs that have helped us get through the worst part of the recession.”
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, however, disagreed.
“For all the billions of taxpayer dollars this Administration has thrown at our economic woes in hopes that problems would solve themselves, today we learned that America’s jobs deficit, like the federal budget deficit, continues to grow,” he said.
“President Obama has proven that Washington cannot create jobs. I urge him and his allies in Congress to abandon their job-killing agenda and work with Republicans to replicate the low-tax, pro-growth policies that have worked in Texas and other states, and which can repair our economy, strengthen our small businesses, and get more Americans back on the job,” he said.
Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, said Congress needs to block further stimulus payments.
“The June jobs report shows that the Obama stimulus has not only failed, but is now pushing the nation back into an even deeper recession,” he said.
“The Democrats have spent the Treasury dry and put us on a pathway to national bankruptcy like Greece. Do they really think that kind of fiscal irresponsibility will convince employers to start hiring again?”