Labor Market Roars: US Economy Adds 222000 Jobs in June

Posted July 08, 2017

The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who would prefer a full-time position and people who want a job but are not actively looking for work, rose to 8.6 per cent from 8.4 per cent.

The Labor Department revised up the payroll gains in April and May, with job gains hitting 47,000, more than previously reported.

Government statistics released today show the USA economy added 220,000 jobs last month, which could be encouraging for new college graduates seeking work. That's fewer than the 659,000 created during the final four months of the Obama administration, which Trump criticized for its job growth.

He was talking about a July 3 report showing that USA manufacturers grew at their fastest pace in three years.

The monthly jobs report is less critical for the stock market now compared with several years ago as the Fed has raised short-term rates multiple times and is likely to raise them again in 2017. The average workweek increased to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in May.

But that private-sector job growth was less than the 1.16 million the sector added from November 2015 through April 2016. Employment rose in health care, professional and business services, food services and drinking places, social assistance, financial activities, and mining. Average hourly earnings, which currency and bond traders also monitor closely, increased just 0.2 percent in June, down from expectations of a 0.3 percent rise. Wages are only growing slowly, despite the historically low jobless rate. Hourly wages are up a half of a percent from the previous month. Those people were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime during the prior 12 months.

Retail hiring, once a strong driver of employment growth, is suffering from online competition.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said many workers are too cautious to push for raises, partly because of the lingering effects of the Great Recession, when almost 9 million people lost their jobs. Securities, commodity contracts and investments added 5,000 jobs over the month.

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The unemployment rate for all Americans increased from 4.3 percent in May to 4.4 percent in June. The fact that many of those people now have jobs, combined with the aging population, will make hiring slower and costlier, economists say. "If we don't see significant wage growth, it's unlikely we'll start to see a ramp-up of inflation anytime soon".