U.S. adds a solid 213000 jobs; unemployment up to 4 percent


In June, 213,000 jobs were created in the private sector of the United States economy, 11,000 in the public sector, while employment in the industrial sector grew by 35,000 and the construction sector by 13,000.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent from 3.8 percent as more people began looking for work. The economy needs to create roughly 120,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. This would only be the second such period since the 1990s, when the world's leading economy managed to create so many jobs for a longer period. That tepid increase to an average of $26.98 per hour, however, is due to the disproportionately high number of positions filled by job seekers with high-school diplomas, who generally receive lower wages. And as is the case in most months, professional and business services as well as education and health services were the sectors that saw the largest increase in employment, with 50,000 and 54,000 jobs added in these sectors respectively. Construction payrolls increased by 13,000 after rising by 29,000 jobs in May.

Wage growth slowed in June. Over the past three months, the economy has produced a robust average monthly job gain of 211,000.

The number of workers who have been too discouraged to bother searching for a job was down 155,000 from a year earlier, leaving the total below 360,000. In general, monthly payroll gains of around 100,000 - or even a bit less - are sufficient to keep pushing down the unemployment rate, according to economists. Asian unemployment increased to 3.2 percent from an extraordinary 2.1 percent in May.

This suggests that these 600,000 newly available workers can quickly find work if they have the right skills and that the unemployment rate will very swiftly fall back.

For employers, however, a hot job market is costly.

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Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics, said "we can't stress enough that all the numbers from the household survey are so volatile that they're essentially meaningless on a month-to-month basis".

Major trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, have retaliated with their own tariffs. But for now the sector, which accounts for about 12 percent of the US economy, appears in good health.

"Healthy" rise in the unemployment rate: Even though it was expected to decline, the unemployment rate rose to 4 percent from 3.8 percent.

In June, the unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos, aged 16 and up, was 4.6%, down from its May level of 4.9%.

The economy also faces a substantial threat from the trade tension with China and from other trade disputes with USA allies, including Canada and Europe.