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US Economy Loses Jobs for Sixth Straight Month


The U.S. economy had a net loss of 62,000 jobs in June, although the unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent.

Thursday's report from the Labor Department shows the U.S. economy losing more jobs than it created for the sixth month in a row.

So far this year, the U.S. economy has cut 438,000 jobs, a sharp contrast from 2007, when employment grew by an average of more than 90,000 jobs a month.

But U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao told the Bloomberg news service that the unemployment figures are still better than they were in the 1990s.

A separate report from a business group, the Institute for Supply Management says a key measure of the services sector of the economy shrank in June as rising costs and falling orders hit many businesses. Services include everything from banks to airlines and make up 80 percent of the U.S. economy.

The U.S. economy has been hurt by skyrocketing oil and gasoline prices, which both hit record highs today. The average U.S. retail price of gasoline rose to nearly $1.08 per liter ($4.10 a gallon). Economic growth is also hampered by falling home prices, tight credit, and low consumer confidence.

These economic problems could cut the consumer spending that drives two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg.


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