Business hiring forges ahead in June, with 213,000 jobs added

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

The +54,000 jog upwards in "educational and health services" employment was comprised of "educational services", +19,000; "health care", +25,000; and "social assistance", +10,000.

On the same day that the Trump administration began imposing tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing hit back with tariffs on the same amount of USA goods, the job gain showed that the 9-year old US economic expansion - the second-longest on record - remains on firm footing.

The slow growth in labor costs may dissuade the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates more aggressively to head off a spike in inflation. Even with more and more jobs, annual wage growth has remained stubbornly below 3% since early 2009.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 213,000 in June and has grown by 2.4 million over the last 12 months.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics, said "we can't stress enough that all the numbers from the household survey are so volatile that they're essentially meaningless on a month-to-month basis". "It's positive in the sense that we still have some capacity to grow above trend without triggering too much inflation worry". The last time it was that low was in 1969. "It's probably relieving for the Fed".

"America is open for business, more than it has ever been open for business", stated President Trump. Levies on $34bn in Chinese goods took effect at 12:01 a.m. Washington time on Friday. However, the official figures are yet to be released till later this month. Revised figures for April and May bring the monthly average for this year to 214,000 jobs-up from 182,000 the year before.

Manufacturers added 36,000 jobs last month. That's consistent with other reports showing strength in factory activity.

Staffing in "professional and business services" (+50,000) received boosts from "temporary help services", +9,000; "architectural and engineering services", +7,000; and "computer systems design and related design", +6,000. The retail industry's woes were also reflected in employment, as vendors cut 21 600 positions, the biggest drop since December.

"There's definitely still a lot of room for the labour market to absorb the slack", Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on Bloomberg Television.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.7%), adult women (3.7%) and Asians (3.2%) increased in June.

The participation rate remains a closely watched measure for central bankers.

Job openings are at record highs, meaning numerous job seekers are likely to find employment soon. The overall employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) was unchanged at 60.4 percent, tied for a high for the recovery. Wages continued their modest rise, increasing 2.7 percent from the year before. Average hourly earnings increased by 0.2% month-on-month and 2.7% year-on-year, weaker than economists had forecast.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent from 3.8 percent as more people began looking for work. That has been a familiar refrain as the economic recovery keeps going and unemployment keeps falling.

United States non-farm employment rose by 213K positions in June, but the unemployment rate climbed to 4.0%, up from 3.8% in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.