US Economy Gains 222000 Job; Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly

Job creation in the US has slowed down this year.   Jim Young  Reuters

The U.S. economy added 222,000 net new jobs in June, beating expectations for 179,000 jobs.

The job gains have encouraged more people to start looking for work, and this was behind a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 4.4% in June from 4.3% in May.

The average hourly earnings now stand at $26.25.

Following the jobs report, the dollar rose to two-month highs against the yen, on pace to post its largest weekly percentage gain since late April.

Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month so far this year, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016.

Even with June's strong hiring, average hourly pay rose just 2.5 percent from a year earlier, below the 3.5 percent typical of a healthy economy.

"We've added $3.3 trillion in stock market value to our economy, and more than a million private sector jobs", he said during a White House speech announcing the USA was withdrawing from the Paris climate change accord. Social assistance added 23,000, Wall Street-related jobs grew by 17,000 and mining - a focal point for the Trump administration - saw 8,000 new positions. Still, that figure is a point lower than it was this time previous year. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 322,000.

The president has focused on manufacturing jobs, a sector that has seen steady growth since his election.

Analysts said the job gains bolster the case for the Federal Reserve to continue to raise interest rates, even though inflation remains lower than policymakers at the U.S. central bank would like.

The unemployment rate has declined under Trump to 4.3 percent in May from 4.8 percent when he took office.

Curt Long, Chief Economist at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), reminded that while the growth in jobs is great news, "wage growth has stalled, which will add to fears that low inflation may not improve any time soon".

"Respectable, perhaps", Gary Schlossberg, senior economist at Wells Capital Management in San Francisco, said of the recent jobs numbers. June's rate hike was just the the fourth since the Great Recession.

"Historically, May employment is stronger when the survey week falls in the third week of the month as opposed to the second week", writes Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays.

This measure does not account for those individuals who have dropped out of the labor force-it simply measures the percent of those who did not have a job but actively sought one over the month.

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