US employers, battered by rising fuel prices and a stuttering economy, continued to cut payrolls in June, eliminating some 62,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight monthly drop, reports the Wall Street Journal, and nearly 13% more than economists expected. Payrolls have fallen 438,000 so far this year, an average of 73,000 jobs per month. Unemployment held at 5.5%, whereas experts expected a drop.
Economists say the numbers make it likely that the Fed will hold interest rates, reports Bloomberg. “There is very little room for the Fed to do anything. The Fed is not in a position to cut rates, nor is it in a position to hike rates,'' said an analyst. The Labor Department reported unemployment claims rose by 16,000 last week.