USA unemployment rate ticks up to 4 pct in June

08 July, 2018, 18:41 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Economy adds 213K jobs in June unemployment ticks up to 4 percent

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.

Among industrial sub-sectors, the three standouts for jobs improvement in June were: "education and health services", +54,000; "professional and business services", +50,000; and in a long-time-coming and pleasantly-welcome development, "manufacturing", +36,000.

As unemployment rose, the closely-watched labor force participation rate also edged higher to 62.9 percent, while the number of people counted as unemployed rose to 6.6 million people, up almost a half million.

Average hourly earnings of private-sector workers rose 2.7 percent in June from a year ago, in line with recent monthly readings, suggesting that wage growth remains modest.

"Despite ongoing concerns about being on the brink of a trade war, today's jobs report shows the continued strength of the economic recovery in the US", said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank.

The monthly Labor Department report also revised up figures for April and May, reporting that 37,000 more jobs were created in these months than previously estimated. The U.S. central bank raised interest rates last month for the second time this year and has projected two more rate hikes by year end. Moreover, the increased borrowing costs could lead to dampening of economic activity.

"There's definitely still a lot of room for the labour market to absorb the slack", Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on Bloomberg Television.

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A healthy gain of 31,800 jobs last month wasn't enough to keep Canada's unemployment rate from rising to six per cent as more people searched for work.

Signs of the Trump administration's trade war with China and did not show up in the report.

Faster wage growth would have also indicated that inflation was building in the economy, which hasn't strongly been the case even though unemployment is low. Prices for U.S. Treasuries rose.

In the past three months, the United States has increased 211,000 jobs monthly on average. Neither the BLS report nor any of the establishment press outlets have sought to provide any explanation for this trend, which runs contrary to the commonly-accepted capitalist economic principle that a tighter labor market will result in higher wages as employers compete against one another for workers.

The U-6 or underemployment rate rose to 7.8 percent from 7.6 percent; the gauge includes part-time workers who'd prefer a full-time position and people who want a job but aren't actively looking. US tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods are due to come into effect on Friday. "The unchanged 2.7 percent rise in June helps keep the Fed on a gradual path of rate hikes", MarketWatch said.

Hanging over the labor market are President Trump's tariffs on goods from some of America's largest trading partners, along with retaliatory charges. However, the official figures are yet to be released till later this month. There are also growing fears of global disruptions as a trade fight escalates between the USA and China.

The picture was brighter for the leisure and hospitality industry.

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