U.S. Jobs Report Underlines The Case For Rate Hikes

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.

US employers kept up a brisk hiring pace in June by adding 213,000 jobs in a sign of confidence despite the start of a potentially punishing trade war with China.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 4% from 3.8%, as the strong labour market encouraged more people to look for work.

The United States has increased jobs monthly for more than seven years, but some analysts suggest that the escalating trade disputes between the U.S. and its allies could threaten growth.

The number of employed people in the workforce rose by 102,000, while the number of unemployed jumped by 499,000, suggesting more people entered the labor force and actively sought jobs.

But steady wage gains pointed to moderate inflation pressures that should keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest rate increases.

Wage growth is barely keeping ahead of inflation, which is firming up as the economy strengthens. Even so, a steady pace of hiring and gradually rising wages, along with lower taxes, are helping underpin consumer spending and propelling a rebound in US growth.

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Signs of strength have helped bolster hiring despite the difficulty many employers say they're having in finding enough qualified workers to fill jobs.

"As the labor market tightens we should see more businesses raisings wages, offering training, and hiring workers from all corners of the labor market", she added. A separate measure, average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers, also increased 2.7 percent from a year earlier, unchanged from the prior month's gain. However, the official figures are yet to be released till later this month.

Even more surprising is this: If you do the math, the jobless rate actually rose by 0.3 of a percentage point - from 3.75 percent in May to 4.05 percent in June.

In the past three months, the United States has increased 211,000 jobs monthly on average. Among the strongest industries for job growth during the month was manufacturing, which extended a surge in hiring by adding 36,000 jobs even with tariffs in place. Up until last month, the country's labour force had been little changed through 2018. That kept the annual increase in average hourly earnings at 2.7 percent.

Yet another month of robust job creation showed that, despite nationwide complaints of worsening labor shortage, there remained untapped pockets of idled workers at last able to reenter the jobs market after a decade of economic recovery.

At the same time, retail lost 22,000 jobs, partly because of the nationwide closing of Toys R Us stores, according to Gus Faucher, PNC's chief economist.

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