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Job Growth Slows in June Due to Qualified-Worker Shortage

United Auto Workers union member Carrie Attwood uses an ergonomic-arm to install a front seat in a Chevrolet Volt at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

The Labor Department reported Friday that the number of jobs added to the economy dropped last month as employers had difficulty finding qualified workers.

June saw 213,000 new jobs added, down from 244,000 in May. Unemployment also rose to 4 percent, up from 3.8 percent in May.

The White House in a statement called the report “the latest in a string of positive headlines showing that confidence is surging, growth is accelerating, and jobs are plentiful in the Trump economy.”

36,000 manufacturing jobs were added, along with 25,000 health-care jobs. The construction and mining sectors also saw gains, while the retail sector lost 22,000 jobs.

“Americans rejoining the workforce represented their largest share of the unemployed since before the recession” in June, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said in a statement, referring to those who had previously stopped looking for a job.

Those who began searching for a job again rose by 204,000, to 2.1 million. The labor-participation rate ticked up 0.2 percentage points to 62.9 percent as a result.

Wage growth, at 2.7 percent, remained slow, although economists expect it to pick up near the end of the year.

“Our economy would benefit from greater wage increases,” Acosta said.

An estimated 3.7 million jobs have been added to the economy since President Trump’s election.

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