The monthly jobs report for June, released Friday, is further evidence that this indicator has become more than just a snapshot of the health of a key part of the USA economy and the outlook for monetary policy.
Job gains of 213,000 in June topped projections, Labour Department figures showed yesterday. But retailers cut 21,600 jobs last month, after boosting payrolls by 25,100 in May.Government payrolls increased by 11,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage points in June for college grads.
For Catherine Barrera, who works as the Chief Economist for online job site ZipRecruiter, reportedly said the labor force numbers quelled her concern about the unemployment figure. A widespread availability of jobs and the prospect of higher wages at other employers made it harder to retain workers, she said.
Steady hiring and low unemployment shows the labor market continues to be an area of strength for the economy since the recession ended nine years ago. Manufacturing led the way with an increase of 36,000 jobs, 12,000 of which were in autos.
Construction payrolls rose by 13,000 last month after rising by 29,000 jobs in May.
The U.S. economy faces potential drags going forward, including escalating trade disputes with major trading partners such as the European Union, China, Canada and Mexico. It's the 93rd consecutive month of job gains, an impressively long and strong stretch of growth.
Under Trump, the economy also saw its highest number of job openings - 6.6 million, about the number of unemployed in April - since 2000. Economists project that the GDP growth will maintain the yearly pace of 4% or even higher in the second quarter.
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Wages were being carefully watched by economists for signs of inflationary pressures building in the economy, with average hourly earnings forecast to have risen 0.3% over last month in June and 2.8% over the same month past year.
Job growth this year has been faster than in 2017.
Hassett pointed to the increase in labor force participation for African American women and Hispanic men and women as an encouraging sign that people are being drawn back to work.
The economy also faces a substantial threat from the trade tension with China and from other trade disputes with US allies, including Canada and Europe.
"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 U.S. macroeconomics at Oxford Economics in NY, said in a note. Over the past 12 months, this sector has gained 285,000 jobs, with about three-quarters of them involving durable goods such as metal products, computer parts and cars.
Satyam Panday of S&P Global Ratings, says that considering the economic momentum, there are chances of steady labor force participation as well as a reduced unemployment rate come the second half of 2018.