Employers add 213,000 jobs in June; unemployment rises to 4 percent
Friday, July 06, 2018
Nonfarm payroll jobs rose 213,000 in June vs. 223,000 in May, as the unemployment rate climbed to 4 percent from 3.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employment growth rose in professional and business services, manufacturing, and healthcare, but jobs in retail trade declined.
Unemployment for some major worker groups rose in June vs. May: adult men (3.7 percent from 3.5 percent), adult women (3.7 percent from 3.3 percent) and Asians (3.2 percent from 2.1 percent). Meanwhile, the rate of joblessness changed little for teens (12.6 percent from 12.8 percent), whites (remained at 3.5 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent from 6.5 percent), and Hispanics (no change at 4.9 percent).
"Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs increased by 211,000 in June to 3.1 million," the BLS reported, and the number of re-entrants to the labor force rose by 204,000 to 2.1 million. (Re-entrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.)
At first glance, a rise in the jobless rate is sour news. There is more to this wrinkle, though.
We turn to Elise Gould, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
"While an increase in the unemployment rate is generally considered to be a negative sign for the economy," she said in a statement, "a rise accompanied by an increase in labor force entrants can be taken as an indication that more would-be workers are hopeful about their job prospects and have begun actively seeking work."
The employment-to-population ratio (the share of the labor force now employed vs. the total working-age population) was 60.4 percent in June, unchanged from May.
In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls went up by 5 cents to $26.98 vs. an increase of 8 cents to $26.92 in May. Over the year, average hourly earnings have climbed by 72 cents, or 2.7 percent.
"This continued slow wage growth is an obvious sign that the economy is not at full employment," according to Gould. "If there were widespread skill shortages we would expect to see stronger wage growth as employers bid up wages and benefits to attract and retain qualified workers. Instead, wage growth has been flat over much of the last year."
The payrolls of small firms with 1-49 employees grew by 29,000 in June compared with 38,000 new hires in May, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Companies of 50-499 workers added 80,000 new employees in June vs. 84,000 in May. Companies with 500 or more employees added 69,000 new hires in June compared to 56,000 in May compared with 54,000 in April.
According to ADP’s report, service jobs increased 148,000 in June vs. 114,000 in May. Education/health led the field with 46,000 new hires in June, up from 35,000 in May. Professional and business services added 33,000 jobs in as did leisure and hospitality in June.
Payrolls of the goods-producing sector grew 29,000 in June, down from 64,000 in May. Manufacturing firms hired 12,000 workers in June compared with 14,000 new hires in May. Construction employer payrolls expanded by 13,000 jobs in June vs. 39,000 in May.
ADP’s National Employment Report delivers a monthly snapshot of America’s nonfarm private sector employment from actual transactional payroll data, according to the ADP Research Institute that collaborates with Moody’s Analytics. ADP report’s differs from the BLS methodology that surveys firms and households.
"The labor market continues to march towards full employment," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement.
"Business’ number one problem is finding qualified workers," according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.
Storm clouds are on the horizon of the U.S. economic expansion underway since the Great Recession ended in June 2009. A tit-for-tat escalation of trade tariffs (taxes) with China could prove harmful to growth via increased import prices and decreased demand for U.S. exports.
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