Jobs Sprout in June in US

Home Depot cashier at a Miami store

Job gains have averaged 162,000 through the first five months of this year, according to the Labor Department, a solid total that has pulled the unemployment rate down from 4.7 percent in December to 4.3 percent in May, the lowest in 16 years.

Chief economist for the global information company, IHS, Nariman Behravesh says wage growth will probably pick up over the next year as the economy gains between 150 and 180 thousand jobs a month.

"After last month's surge in jobs activity, small business owners seem to be in a holding pattern while they wait to see what Congress will do with taxes and health care", said National Federation of Independent Business president and CEO Juanita Duggan. Since January, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed are down by 0.4% and 658,000, respectively.

The June unemployment rate increased a tenth of a point to 4.4 percent, which is near historic lows. Average hourly earnings, which currency and bond traders also monitor closely, increased just 0.2 percent in June, down from expectations of a 0.3 percent rise.

US service companies expanded at a faster pace last month, pushed up by slightly better sales and a pickup in new orders. The change in employment for April was also revised up from a gain of 174,000 to 207,000, and the change for May was revised up from a gain of 138,000 to 152,000.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to make its next decision on interest rates following a two-day meeting later this month.

In the first half of 2017, healthcare added an average of 24,000 jobs per month, so June's additions beat the average. This is below the targeted growth rate of 3.5 percent.

There were 245,000 more Americans who gained employment over the month and more individuals joined the labor force as well.

But that private-sector job growth was less than the 1.16 million the sector added from November 2015 through April 2016.

In its monetary policy report published on Friday, the Fed indicated that it's prepared to be "slightly more accommodative" if inflation continues to fall short of the central bank's target.

"The manufacturing jobs recovery isn't happening", said Jed Kolko, chief economist of the job-lisitng website Indeed. One gauge measures the proportion of part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs - a category that soared during the recession.

Trump, clearly upbeat over the news, tweeted, "Really great numbers on jobs & the economy!"

At the current pace, the US would add about 1.9 million jobs in 2017.

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



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