WASHINGTON — Clothing and accessories stores and general merchandise stores added jobs to payrolls in June, while department stores continued in a slump and cut more jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday.
Continuing a pattern of steady job growth, clothing and accessories stores added 1,800 jobs to employ 1.42 million in June compared with May. General merchandise stores, a category that includes discounters and department stores, boosted payrolls by 4,200 to 2.98 million.
But department stores appeared to take the biggest hit, despite healthy comparable-store sales gains in June, cutting 1,500 jobs to employ 1.48 million in June.
The overall unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent in June from 9.1 percent in May. Companies added just 18,000 jobs in June, coming in far below economists’ expectations and signaling further weakness in the economy as businesses pulled back on hiring in the face of high gas prices and a struggling housing market.