Employers in the U.S. added far more jobs than expected last month, easing concerns about an economic slowdown fueled by May’s anemic job growth.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by a seasonally adjusted 287,000 in June, the Labor Department reported Friday, after an increase of only 11,000 in May and a rise of 144,000 in April.
It was the strongest month of hiring since last October. The official unemployment rate rose in June to 4.9% from 4.7%, but that was largely because more Americans re-entered the work force.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected employers would add 165,000 jobs in June, and that the jobless rate would edge up to 4.8%.
“Wow, this one takes my breath away,” Diane Swonk, an independent economist in Chicago, told The New York Times.
National Association of Federal Credit Unions chief economist Curt Long said Friday’s report “will come as a sigh of relief,” adding that “while numerous land mines remain on the economic front, policy makers can at least be reassured that the labor market remains a bright spot.”
The May report had inflamed fears that the economic recovery was stalling and weighed on the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, which last month deferred another increase in interest rates.
“Policy makers are scheduled to meet in late July, but officials might opt to wait for more information about the state of the economy and the effects of Brexit before raising interest rates a second time,” the WSJ said.
The June surge in job growth reflected in part the end of a strike by more than 35,000 Verizon workers that had artificially held down the May numbers. The gains were broad-based, with leisure and hospitality adding 59,000 jobs; health care, 58,000; professional and business services, 38,000; retail, 30,000; and financial activities, 16,000. Choose Auckland escort girls here.
Despite those gains, monthly employment growth averaged 171,000 in the first half of 2016, compared to 229,000 last year and 251,000 in 2014.
“At this point in the business cycle, we’re going to have a slowdown in job growth,” John Canally, chief economic strategist of LPL Financial, told USA Today.