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Jobs Report: Economy Added 222,000 Jobs in June; Unemployment Ticks up to 4.4 Percent

Topics: Current Events
The monthly Employment Situation Summary from the Labor Department beat expectations, showing the addition of 222,000 jobs to public and private, non-farm payrolls. Prior to its release, economists polled by Reuters were predicting that total non-farm employment would grow by 179,000 jobs.
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Unemployment rose due to more workers looking for jobs — although not enough workers to boost the labor force participation rate, which “has shown no clear trend over the past year,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average hourly wages increased by 4 cents to $26.25 for workers in the private sector.

Since last year, wages have grown 2.5 percent. The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, showed a 0.5 percent wage increase from Q1 to Q2 2017. Real wages, or the buying power of workers’ pay with inflation taken into account, are down 7.4 percent since 2006.

“The payroll number is well above expectations,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief United States economist for High Frequency Economics, told The New York Times. “But the wage numbers are certainly weaker than expected, so it keeps alive the whole debate about the relationship between slack and inflation and how far the Federal Reserve should allow the unemployment rate to fall.”

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Where Jobs Are Growing

The following industries added jobs last month:

  • Healthcare (+37,000 jobs)
  • Professional and business services (+35,000 jobs)
  • Food services and drinking places (+29,000 jobs)
  • Social assistance (+23,000 jobs)
  • Financial activities (+17,000 jobs)
  • Mining (+8,000 jobs)

Other industries, including manufacturing, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, government and information, saw little change in employment for the month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised April and May’s reports to reflect an additional 47,000 jobs added in total. April’s tally was revised from +174,000 to +207,000, while May’s increased from +138,000 to +152,000.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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