After a dismal month of job growth in May, total nonfarm payrolls increased by 287,000 in June, the strongest month of hiring since last October and significantly higher than the 175,000 that was expected. The national unemployment rate, however, rose slightly to 4.9 percent and the number of unemployed persons increased by 347,000 to 7.8 million.
Job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, and financial activities. Employment also increased in information, mostly reflecting the return of workers from a month-long strike.
Leisure and hospitality added 59,000 jobs in June, following little employment change in the prior month. Health care employment increased by 39,000 with job gains in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+15,000). Within social assistance, child day care services added 15,000 jobs and employment in financial activities rose by 16,000 and has risen by 163,000 over the year. Job gains in information also increased by 44,000 and professional and business services rose by 38,000 jobs.
Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and government, showed little or no change in June.
Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.6 percent, also changed little in June.
Average hourly wages for employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 2-cents to $25.61, following a 6-cent increase in May Wages of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.51.
Many believe America is nearing full employment and the numbers in June are definitely a bounce-back from May’s results. There’s still a lot of work to be done with job gains averaging about 147,000 per month since April. For now, we can’t argue that employment in America continues to make solid progress.