June Employment Numbers: What a Big Miss

by: Zacks Investment Research

By Mark Vickery

Wow - this is a big miss. With analysts expecting 125,000 new jobs created in the the month of June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the June non-farm payroll numbers: a whopping total of 18,000 new jobs. This is also a surprise considering yesterday's better-than-expected ADP employment numbers.

So those who were calling for the U.S. economy to come to a screeching halt have plenty to crow about - but what about the rest of us? The private sector provided 57,000 jobs in the month, which is the lowest since May 2010. Government jobs continued their slow bleed with 39,000 fewer jobs in June. The unemployment rate rose to 9.2% from 9.1%. This is the highest level year-to-date.

May numbers were revised upward from a still-paltry but relatively robust 54,000 jobs to 73,000. Government job figures were revised to having shed 48,000 jobs last month. So this is about as good as the news gets: Officially we are still in an economic recovery, such as it is, and government spending (on personnel, at least) continues to get trimmer.

Question is: where to from here? Other than a likely down trading day today, the last before earnings season unofficially kicks off next week with Alcoa's (NYSE:AA) earnings report. Stock futures plummeted within seconds of the announcement of the BLS report.