The rise in the USA unemployment rate isn’t bad news

09 July, 2018, 01:50 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, as unemployment rose to 4 percent

Private employers expanded their payrolls for the 93rd consecutive month in June, by 213,000 jobs, the Department of Labor's employment situation report showed yesterday.

After revisions, job gains averaged 211,000 over the past three months, as the job market was approaching full employment.

The ranks of unemployed people seeking jobs jumped by 499,000 in June, which caused the unemployment rate to rise from its previous 18 year-low.

However, the annual increase in average hourly earnings was unchanged at 2.7%.

Compared with a year earlier, overall employment was up 1.2 per cent following the creation of 214,900 jobs, which was driven by 284,100 new full-time positions.

"The story would be a prime working-age woman who's been at home perhaps taking care of children or older adults who now looks out and sees a very good job opportunity and moves right into the ranks of the employed", Gapen said on Bloomberg TV. This was more than the 190,000 forecast by economists.

Not all of those who re-entered the market were able to find jobs, which contributed to the uptick in the unemployment rate.

They expect the unemployment rate to have held steady at 3.8%, the lowest level since 2000 and 1969 before then.

Every sector of the economy added workers in June except retail, which lost 22,000 jobs to offset gains in May. And Goldman Sachs says the tight labor market tends to boost hiring in June as companies aggressively target students and graduates.

Wage growth continues to be sluggish: Not all the June data were encouraging.

Faster wage growth would also indicate that inflation is building in the economy, which hasn't been the case even though unemployment is this low.

In addition, this report's less-favorable indicators - relatively sluggish wage growth and a higher unemployment rate due to increased labor-force participation - keep open the possibility of further enhancements to both the demand and supply drivers underpinning a continued expansion that is stronger and more inclusive.

At the same time, the unemployment rate rose to 4 per cent from 3.8 per cent, the government said Friday, as more people began looking for a job and not all of them found one.

Interestingly, around 600,000 new workers entered the labour force last month, but bear in mind this report is a survey and tends to be very volatile month to month.

The report underscores a familiar refrain: There are lots of jobs being created, but not enough people to fill them. "That together with rising inflation should keep the Fed on track to raise interest rates two more times this year".

The unemployment rate inched up to 4%, the first increase in nearly a year. The number, however, did come down from its nine-year high in May of 3.9 per cent.

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