USA employers add 222000 jobs, jobless rate at 4.4 percent

Allan Goodman
July 8, 2017

Figures released Friday by the US government showed that the economy south of the border added a better-than-expected 222,000 new jobs in June.

The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 5.1 in June, up from 4.6 percent in May and the highest unemployment rate recorded for the group since January, according to the latest monthly employment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The government also revised up its estimate of job growth for April and May by a combined 47,000.

Economists have offered a variety of explanations for mild wage growth: low productivity, global competition, fewer middle-class jobs or a shift to a younger, lower-paid workforce from an older, higher-paid one. Under a broader definition that includes people who want to work but have given up looking, or people working part-time jobs because they can't find full-time work, the unemployment rate was 8.6% last month, up from 8.4% in May. Average hourly earnings rose four cents to $26.25, up 0.2 percent over May and 2.5 percent higher than June of past year - the same annual gain reported in May.

Average hourly earnings increased four cents, just 0.2 percent, in June, to $26.25.

The government said job gains occurred in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining. But while the employment headline number was strong, inflation pressure was still tame.

The president has focused on manufacturing jobs, a sector that has seen steady growth since his election. "This isn't a 3 percent growth economy and this isn't a 3 percent growth jobs report", he said.

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It's about $1 billion less than the version sent over in May from the Senate, where the legislation now returns for concurrence. IL lawmakers are back to work after a dramatic vote in the House to increase income taxes by 32 percent.

The Federal Reserve voted to raise its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a point from 1 percent to 1.25 percent in June.

First-time unemployment applications in the United States rose by roughly 4,000 to 248,000 in the last week (ending July 1), over the previous week.

Eight years after the Great Recession ended, the economy is steadily churning out jobs, and the unemployment rate lingers near a 16-year low.

Trump, clearly upbeat over the news, tweeted, "Really great numbers on jobs & the economy!" Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 194,000 a month.

"People are out of practice when it comes to asking for higher pay", said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

On Thursday, the National Federation of Independent Business released a report that found hiring by small businesses declined in June. But the ranks of the long-term unemployed edged up by 1,000 to 1.7 million.

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