By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER (AP)
WASHINGTON — Industries driving job growth this year added fewer workers in June, a sign that the overall hiring picture could get worse.
Manufacturers, for example, added only 9,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday in its latest monthly employment report. That’s the fewest for the sector this year and below its average monthly gain of 25,400 over the previous five months.
Temporary help firms, meanwhile, added 20,500 positions. That was the smallest gain in nine months.
The two industries have added more than 330,000 jobs so far this year. That’s slightly more than half the total gain in private payrolls of 593,000. As a result, a slowdown in those two sectors could shrink overall job gains in the months ahead.
The declines could be temporary. But in manufacturing, the growth in factory production earlier this year was partly a result of companies restocking their warehouses, after cutting them to the bone in the recession. Many economists worry that production will slow now that the need to replenish inventories is not as great.
Private employers created a net total of 83,000 new jobs in June. That was up from May but not nearly enough to speed the recovery.
Total payrolls fell 125,000, dragged down by the end of 225,000 temporary census jobs. The jobless rate fell to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent.
Retailers cut 6,600 jobs, the second straight month of losses. That’s a reversal from earlier this year, when stores began hiring again after a strong winter holiday shopping season.
The renewed job losses are a sign that merchants aren’t seeing a strong rebound in consumer spending.
Other industries that are hurting could get worse. Jobs in architecture declined, a sign that fewer commercial building will be designed, said Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America.
That could lead to more job cuts in construction. The industry lost another 22,000 positions in June. That leaves about 5.6 million people employed in the construction industry, the lowest level in almost 14 years, Simonson said.
These and other details can be found in the government’s latest jobs report.