The national unemployment rate edged up during the month of June to 9.2 percent, according to data released Friday by the ""U.S. Department of Labor"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm. The economy added just 18,000 jobs during the month.[IMAGE]
Last month, it was reported that 54,000 new jobs were added in May, and that was considered a poor showing. With Friday's report, that number was revised downward to reflect just 25,000 new jobs in May.
The Labor Department says following gains averaging 215,000 per month from February through April, employment has been Ã¢â‚¬Å“essentially flatÃ¢â‚¬Â for the past two months.[COLUMN_BREAK]
June's numbers were worse than market forecasts. Economists were expecting the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 9.1 percent and job gains to be between 85,000 and 100,000.
Private employers added only 57,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the fewest in more than a year, while government jobs declined by 39,000.
Declines in the labor market have added significantly to the volume of past-due mortgages, particularly serious delinquencies as those looking for new work remain unemployed for extended periods.
On Thursday, the ""federal government announced"":http://dsnews.comarticles/government-extends-mortgage-forbearance-for-unemployed-2011-07-07 that it was extending the mortgage forbearance period to 12 months for unemployed homeowners with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans and those participating in the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP).
The reason, to give borrowers whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve lost their jobs a better chance of finding new work in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s difficult labor market before they lose their home.
Keith Hall, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, says 14.1 million people were unemployed as of the end of June. Of those, 6.3 million have been without a job for 27 weeks or longer.