newsNew filings for unemployment insurance benefits dropped off during the month of June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The overall decrease was miniscule, but suggested a small degree of economic progress. Seasonally adjusted, employers took 1,532 mass layoff actions involving 143,444 workers. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers let go by a single employer.

“The number of mass layoff events in June decreased by 67, or 4 percent, from May, and the number of associated initial claims decreased by 96, or less than 1 percent,” the B.L.S. stated in a recent press release.

Seasonally adjusted, there were 341 mass layoff events reported in the manufacturing sector alone, resulting in 35,693 claims. These initial figures decreased over the month.

The Obama administration took plenty of heat for the dismal rate of economic recovery last month – officials have already called the June figures ‘disappointing.’  The national unemployment rate last month was 9.2 percent, up from the month before, but  ultimately lower than the year earlier. (June 2010 unemployment was 9.5 percent.)

While the road to recovery remains an uphill battle, small steps in progress are noted appreciatively – 18,000 jobs were added last month for a total of 1,036,000 new employment positions over the course of the year.

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