WASHINGTON (AP) – Employers in the US Added 222,000 jobs in June, the strongest in four months, an encouraging sign that businesses may have the confidence to continue hiring despite a slow-growing economy.
The government also revised its employment growth estimate in April and May of 47,000. Recruitment has averaged about 180,000 jobs a month this year, only slightly below last year’s pace.
The unemployment rate in June rose 4.4% from 4.3% in May, a threshold of 16 years. The unemployment rate increased as more Americans began looking for work, and all have not found it.
The Friday job report suggested that the government after eight years of setbacks, but strong, companies still have the option to hire at a healthy pace. Although the rate of employment growth has slowed since 2014 and 2015, it has only to attract people who had stopped looking for work.
The proportion of adults with jobs has reached 60.1%, just below the April figure, which was the highest since the end of the recession in 2009.
Completion of hiring could benefit President Donald Trump. Economists have expressed concern that Trump’s growth could begin to weaken as the economic recovery begins its ninth year – the third longest since World War II.
So far, the labor market and the economy in general have the same look as last year, although Trump boasted that its hiring policies and accelerate growth.
Even with strong hiring in June, the average hourly wage increased by 2.5% compared to the previous year, down from the typical 3.5% of a healthy economy. Employers in many industries remain reluctant to raise wages.
Figures indicate that economic growth must be decent, otherwise robust until 2017, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.
“This is good value for the economy,” he said. “This really says we have 2 percent growth during the second half of the year.”
The employment report is presented in the context of a mixed picture of the US economy.
Home sales are chugging, despite the shortage of properties for sale suggests that the pace of shopping could tick. And car sales slow the record pace of last year, which led some automakers to reduce jobs.
At the same time, manufacturing and service surveys suggest that growth in both sectors could accelerate. Manufacturing activity is growing at a faster pace in three years, according to the Supply Management Institute, a purchasing management group.
The economy grew at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017, below even the average slowdown of 2 percent in the eight years since the end of the recession. But most economists expect that growth rebounded in the April-June quarter at an annual rate of 2.5% or more.
However, the economy seems strong enough that the Fed continues to raise its benchmark interest rate. The Fed noted its belief that the economy is on a firm footing as it enters its ninth year of recession recovery.
In a report to Congress Friday, the Fed said its creators expect it to rise again in short-term rates this year and three times in 2018.
Consumers have expressed confidence in the economy and, therefore, spend more than they did in the first three months of the year.
The companies announced 6 million open jobs in May, a record, suggesting they are struggling to find the workers they need. Normally, as the number of declines in unemployment, employers raise wages to attract job seekers.