Manufacturing Lost 18,000 Jobs In June

Overall economy added 132,000 jobs

U.S. employers added 132,000 jobs in June according to a report July 6 that pointed to solid growth in the world's biggest economy. However manufacturing lost 18,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.5%, the Labor Department report showed.

The Labor Department also upwardly revised job gains in April and May by a total of 75,000. That meant 190,000 jobs were gained in May -- the biggest increase since December 2006 -- from an initial estimate of 157,000, and 122,000 in April, instead of 80,000. "Upward revisions to April and May put more strength in the history of job growth," said Robert Brusca of FAO Economics.

Economists close monitor the creation of jobs, which is seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum. They estimate 110,000 to 140,000 jobs need to be created each month to absorb growth in the number of people seeking work.

Average hourly wages rose 0.3% in June, or six cents, to $17.38. Average hourly earnings, a measure of wage inflation pressures, are up 3.9% in the past year. The average workweek rose to 33.9 hours in June from 33.8 in the prior month.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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