United States economy creates more jobs than expected in June

Jul 08, 2017, 00:19
United States economy creates more jobs than expected in June

US employers added a robust 222,000 jobs in June, the most in four months, a reassuring sign that businesses may be confident enough to keep hiring despite a slow-growing economy. However, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly - 4.4 percent in June compared to 4.3 percent in May. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in June.

Chief economist for the global information company, IHS, Nariman Behravesh says wage growth will probably pick up over the next year as the economy gains between 150 and 180 thousand jobs a month.

"There's an opportunity for more people to come back into the labor force", Samana said, adding that improvements to the participation and underemployment rates would indicate broader strength. "While we may see the Fed trimming its balance sheet later this year, another rate hike is looking less likely".

"While the unemployment rates for workers of colour remain far higher than for white non-Hispanic workers, the black unemployment rate has been falling faster than overall unemployment over the previous year", she said in a statement. The veteran unemployment rate is based on a much smaller sample size in the agency's Current Population Survey than is the overall rate.

"After last month's surge in jobs activity, small-business owners seem to be in a holding pattern while they wait to see what Congress will do with taxes and healthcare", NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said.

The good news was tempered a bit by other factors: A slight uptick in the unemployment rate, a mere 2.5% increase in the hourly pay rate, and job cuts in the auto industry.

The Federal Reserve monitors the barometers of wage growth for any evidence that inflation might be starting to pick up.

A total of 1.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force in June, a figure that was down by 197,000 from a year earlier.

The economy lost 400,000 jobs during the first five months of Bush's tenure, in 2001, but the country was falling into a recession then.

Economists forecast the economy grew at roughly a 2.5 percent pace in the April-June quarter. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 194,000 a month.

"Respectable, perhaps", Gary Schlossberg, senior economist at Wells Capital Management in San Francisco, said of the recent jobs numbers. But the ranks of the long-term unemployed edged up by 1,000 to 1.7 million.