The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, details a jobs report that shows an economy that is growing at near-record levels.
Construction jobs added 13,000 jobs in the month, health care added 25,000 and professional and businesses services, leading all other industries, added 50,000 new positions. Even manufacturing, seemingly unbothered by the bourgeoning trade war between the U.S. and other countries, added a robust 36,000 jobs.
The only sector that lost ground was retail, which slashed 22,000 positions, offsetting the gains made by the industry in May of +25,000.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 4% from 3.8%, marking the first time that measure has increased in one and a half years, but even that news was viewed as a positive. About 601,000 Americans have re-joined the workforce, which is what caused the rate to drop. The market is so strong, many people who had previously given up looking for work have started again.
Adding to the positive news was the fact that jobs numbers for April were revised to +175,000, (up from +159,000), and May numbers to +244,000 (from +223,000). Combined, employment gains in April and May are 37,000 more than previously reported.
Wages, a closely watched barometer also increased, although modestly. In June, average hourly earnings for employees rose 5 cents to $26.98. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 72 cents, or 2.7%.
Historically, the rate of wage growth in a period of low unemployment has been about 4%.
June marks the 93rd straight month of positive job growth in the U.S. and the current economic expansion is the second longest in the nation’s history. The U.S. will achieve the largest expansion in its history if it can keep the current pace steady until July of 2019.
Photo by James E. Foehl via the U.S. Navy