The number of people not in the labor force hit another record high in June, according to data released Thursday by the government.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 92,120,000 people did not participate in the labor force last month – leaving the labor force participation rate again flat, for a third consecutive month, at the 35-year low of 62.8 percent.
The record set in June was 111,000 more than May, when 92,009,000 people were not in the labor force. According to a Republican Senate Budget Committee staffer, while the 111,000 increase was less than in previous months, it still outpaced forecasted retirements.
The BLS said Thursday that the economy added another 288,000 jobs in June, helping to push the unemployment rate down by another 0.2 percentage points to 6.1 percent.
The White House cheered the job additions – pointing to the fact that the economy has seen job growth over 200,000 for five consecutive months.
“The 1.4 million jobs added in the first half of this year are the most in any first half since 1999. Furthermore, this is the first time since September 1999-January 2000 we have seen total job growth above 200,000 for five straight months,” Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said noting that there are still people dealing with long-term unemployment and stagnant wages.
Republicans meanwhile have been beating the drum of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” arguing that Senate Democrats are holding up myriad House-passed bills that would help employ more Americans.
“Once again, the monthly jobs report reminds us that there are far too many of our friends and neighbors out of work,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Thursday. “And the unemployment rate doesn’t even reflect the millions of Americans who have given up on finding a job. As we head into the Independence Day weekend, it’s disappointing to realize that millions of our fellow Americans think the American Dream is slipping away because they can’t find good jobs in the Obama economy.”