U.S. Manufacturing Sheds Jobs In June

By John S. McClenahen After adding 75,000 jobs during the previous four months, the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy shed 11,000 jobs in June, the U.S. Labor Department reported on July 2, giving both business executives and consumers an additional reason to be cautious about the economic outlook for the rest of 2004. Most of the losses in manufacturing last month were in the nondurable goods sector. Indeed, although the U.S. economy overall generated 112,000 jobs in June, the number was way below the 200,000 jobs that economists generally believed would be created during the final month of the year's first half. "The June job gains were concentrated in health care and social assistance, professional and technical services, and transportation and warehousing," noted Kathleen P. Utgoff, commissioner of the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall U.S. unemployment rate remained at 5.6% as the labor force grew slightly faster than employment.

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