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Unemployment Rate Edges Down to 9.5% in June

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in June, down slightly from May's rate of 9.7 percent, the ""U.S. Department of Labor"":http://www.dol.gov/ reported Friday.

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According to the monthly ""Bureau of Labor Statistics report"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm, total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 125,000 in June, reflecting the departure of 225,000 temporary Census 2010 workers from federal government payrolls.

Private-sector employment continued to inch up, though. Over the month, a total of 83,000 new jobs were added, due to modest increases in several industries, the report said. So far this year, employment in the private sector

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has increased by 593,000 jobs, but June's private employment numbers were still 7.9 million jobs below the December 2007 level.

In total, 14.6 million Americans were unemployed in June. And the number of long-term unemployed â€" those jobless for 27 weeks and over â€" was unchanged at 6.8 million, reflecting 43.5 percent of unemployed persons last month.

With the number of unemployed Americans still at a staggeringly high rate, President Obama is urging Republican leadership in the Senate to end their obstruction of the extension of unemployment insurance benefits. On Thursday, the House of Representatives moved to extend benefits for Americans looking for work, but the Senate must put its stamp of approval on this legislation too.

""Getting the American people back to work is the president's top economic priority, and that's why we must do more to not only pass aid for state and local governments and tax cuts for businesses, but also to spur private sector job growth,"" a statement released Thursday by the press secretary said. ""The president will keep pressing Congress to fight for common-sense jobs legislation during this critical time for our economic recovery.""

About Author: Brittany Dunn

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