(WASHINGTON) — The latest employment figures exceeded expectations last month. U.S. employers added 288,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department reported Thursday morning. With the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, June marked the fifth straight month where more than 200,000 jobs were added.
The unemployment rate declined 0.2 percent to 6.1 percent, with the number of unemployed Americans decreasing by 325,000 to 9.5 million.
Job gains in June were widespread. Employment growth in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and health care led the increases.
Since the year began, the unemployment rate and and number of people unemployed in the U.S. has fallen by 2.3 million people or 1.4 percent, the Labor Department says.
The number of long-term unemployed — that is, people without work for 27 weeks or more — also dropped in this report. The number was down 293,000 in June to 3.1 million. This group accounted for 32.8 percent of those unemployed.
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Alanna Petroff, CNN
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com
Ahiza Garcia, CNN