Washington: Job creation in the world’s largest economy continued its brisk pace in June but the unemployment rate jumped as more people joined the hunt for employment, according to a government report Friday.
The US added 213,000 new jobs for the month, well above analyst expectations, but the jobless rate rose 0.2 points to four percent, erasing May’s improvement.
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.
As unemployment rose, the closely-watched labor force participation rate also edged higher to 62.9 percent, while the number of people counted as unemployed rose to 6.6 million people, up nearly a half million.
In another sign of vigorous demand for labor, the results for April and May were revised higher by a total of 37,000, bringing the average for the past three months to 211,000.
The mixed signals of rising joblessness amid continued hiring could strike a flat note at the White House as President Donald Trump has repeatedly taken credit for the historic low levels of unemployment. But in fact more people entering the workforce is a sign of optimism that jobs are available.
Wage growth remained sluggish, however, and was effectively erased by inflation: average hourly earnings rose just 0.2 percent to $26.98, putting wages up 2.7 percent over the same month last year, the same as the 2.7 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index.
The professional and business services sector added 50,000 new positions, manufacturing rose by 36,000, while the fabricated metals industry, which is at the heart of Trump’s current trade battle, added 7,000 new workers.