U.S. adds a solid 213000 jobs; unemployment up to 4%

08 July, 2018, 16:55 | Author: Brooke Harris

Yet another month of robust job creation showed that, despite complaints from companies nationwide about the worsening labour shortage, there remained untapped pockets of idled workers at last able to reenter the jobs market after almost a decade of economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the revisions for the two previous months - April and May - looked encouraging, with a combined gain of 37,000 jobs as compared to previous BLS reports. Additionally, the unemployment rate rose to 4 percent from 3.8 percent even as the labor market encouraged people to seek employment.

Canada has been producing some of the strongest pay gains in years and that trend continued in June with average hourly wages up 3.6 per cent from a year earlier. "We've seen that happen at an alarming rate". President Donald Trump's tax cuts have provided a dose of stimulus this year, but the benefits have been tilted significantly toward wealthy individuals and corporations.

The number of employed people in the workforce rose by 102,000, while the number of unemployed jumped by 499,000, suggesting more people entered the labour force and actively sought jobs.

Manufacturers hired 36,000 workers in June, the most in six months, adding to the 19,000 jobs created in May. As such, job creation was well ahead of the 195,000 consensus forecast, so the report really underlines the strength of the USA economy right now.

Wage growth slowed in June. Businesses have scaled back or postponed investment plans because of trade uncertainty. Any escalation in the conflict with China could disrupt hiring as companies grapple with higher import prices and diminished demand for their exports.

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Minutes of the Fed's June 12-13 policy meeting published on Thursday offered an upbeat assessment of the labor market.

As IJR previously reported, the economy saw many milestones during Trump's presidency. Over the past year, it has added more than a half-million jobs.

For many, the jobs numbers helped reinforce their predictions. However, fears of a trade war with other countries, especially China, have many anxious the economy could slow down or shrink in the months ahead. For the construction sector on its own, the average hourly and weekly gains, as recorded in B-3, were a bit faster, at +2.9% and +3.5% respectively.

On the losing end was retail, which shed 21,600 jobs in June, mainly at general merchandise stores.

Job openings are at record highs, meaning numerous job seekers are likely to find employment soon. The average work week for all private employees was unchanged at 34.5 hours.

"Overall, this "not too hot, not too cold" report supports our call for four Fed rate hikes in total this year", Gregory Daco, head of United States macroeconomics at Oxford Economics in NY, said in a note.

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