WASHINGTON, July 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. unemployment rate held at 7.6 percent in June, although the economy added 195,000 jobs in the month, the Department of Labor said Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said, reporting the number of unemployed people remained unchanged at 11.8 million.
Both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed have remained little changed since February although the unemployment rate last ticked higher in May rising from 7.5 percent to 7.6 percent on the addition of 175,000 jobs.
Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers said private sector jobs rose for the 40th consecutive month in June, adding 7.2 million jobs in the process, "as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession."
Krueger also said the pace of new jobs has risen in each of the past three years and noted private sector jobs grew by 202,000 in June, although pubic sector jobs shrank.
In June, the unemployment rate for adult women climbed to 6.8 percent but the rate otherwise held steady among adult men, at 7 percent, teenagers at 24 percent, and among whites, blacks and Hispanics with unemployment rates at 6.6 percent, 13.7 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively.
The BLS said the number of long-term unemployed -- those jobless for 27 weeks or more -- was little unchanged, although the posted number slipped from 4.4 million in May to 4.3 million in June.
Long-term unemployed accounted for 37.3 percent of the unemployed in May. That dropped to 36.7 percent in June, the department said.
That is still too many, said Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project Christine Owens.
"For far too many Americans, the pain persists," Owens said. "Long term unemployment is not just devastating for the millions of workers who ares struggling to find jobs, but for whole communities and the larger economy," she said.
"Sluggish growth is the culprit," said University of Maryland economics professor Peter Morici in an op-ed piece. "The Bush expansion delivered only 2.1 percent annual gross domestic product growth. That's about the same for the Obama recovery after 45 months," he wrote.