Strong job gains in April and May were revised downward by 60 thousand and the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points based on a reversal of the labor market expansion in May. Overall, the employment situation in June was decent, but the recovery from the weakness in March was less vibrant than originally estimated.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that payroll employment expanded by 223 thousand in June. This brings average monthly payroll gains to 208 thousand in the first half of 2015 compared to 239 thousand in the first half of 2014 and 260 thousand for all of 2014. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.3% in June from 5.5% in May despite a decline in employed persons in the household survey and based on a reduction in the labor force of 432 thousand. The labor force expanded by 397 thousand in May.