U.S. employers added 372,000 jobs in June, beating analyst expectations. The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%. Year-over-year wage growth softened but remained high at 5.1%.
372,000: Employers added 372,000 jobs to the U.S. economy.
3.6%: The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%.
5.1%: Wages rose 5.1% over the past year.
The 372,000 jobs added in June demonstrate the job market remains strong despite inflation. Though the latest numbers come in lower than the 400,000+ jobs that had been added in recent months, the latest numbers are still good news. The Wall Street Journal reports that experts expect the strong hiring numbers to continue, especially in the leisure and hospitality sector, as consumer demand for travel and restaurants remains strong. The 3.6% unemployment rate is also good news. The number has held for four months, suggesting that the labor shortage is starting to ease.
Despite the good news, there are some concerning signs in June’s report. The labor participation rate, which has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, fell to 62.2%. This is the second time in the past three months that the labor participation rate has fallen. As MarketWatch reports, this leaves the workforce short of about 1.5 million workers. While the unemployment rate points to some easing of the labor shortage, the labor participation rate indicates that there is still a long way to go.
With the mixed economic news, experts will be watching closely to see if the Federal Reserve’s strategy of raising interest rates will work to tame inflation while maintaining strong job growth. The New York Times reports that the economy faces several large challenges. High prices are restricting consumer spending, the labor force is aging and low immigration slows the growth of the labor force.