by Phillip Sprehe The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release its monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Current Population Survey (CPS) report for June 2021 on Friday, July 2. Geographic Solutions, Inc. has produced forecasts of the two most closely watched macroeconomic data series from the report: the monthly change in employment and the monthly unemployment rate. Job growth in April (+278,000) and May (+559,000) indicated that the labor market has hit a soft patch even as vaccines have proliferated. The three crucial factors that have prevented people to return to work are lingering fears of the pandemic, watching over children who are not in school, and extended unemployment benefits. Many state governments moved to restrict eligibility for unemployment benefits in June, so the month should provide a first look at the degree that more generous benefits held back employment. However, a conclusion will at least have to wait until the state employment report is released on July 16th to compare states that enacted new restrictions with those that did not. Geographic Solutions derives its employment forecast from internal data on the number of job openings, job severances, job searchers, job applications, and the number of applications for unemployment benefits filed on Geographic Solutions state client sites. The forecast uses unemployment claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). As seen in the chart below, we predict job growth in June of 867,000. Portrayed in the chart below is the 5.5% unemployment rate that Geographic Solutions forecasts for June, a decline from the 5.8% rate in May. The unemployment rate forecast used internal data on job openings, job applications, job searchers, job severances, and the number of applications for unemployment benefits filed on Geographic Solutions state client sites. The forecast uses unemployment claims data from the USDOL. After the release of the report, Geographic Solutions will post a full analysis of the results.