Jul 7, 2023 - Economy

U.S. economy adds 209,000 jobs in June

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. labor market added 209,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.6%, the government said Friday.

Why it matters: Employers continue to add a healthy number of new jobs helping keep the economy on solid footing.

  • The number is slightly below economists' expectations of 225,000 jobs. It is also a slowdown from the prior month's figures, which were revised down by 33,000 to 306,000.
  • Job gains in April, too, were slightly less than initially thought: revised down by 77,000 to 217,000.
  • Sectors including government and health care were among those that saw the biggest job gains last month.

Details: The report shows that the job gains came alongside steady wage growth.

  • Average hourly earnings, a gauge of wage growth, rose by 0.4% in June (the same pace as May, which was revised slightly higher), the government said. Compared to the same month a year ago, wages are up 4.4%.

Of note: The labor force participation rate — watched closely by economists and Federal Reserve officials for signs of whether more Americans are joining the workforce — held at 62.6% in June.

The big picture: The Fed has a close eye on labor market developments which have largely pointed to a hot jobs market that has remained resilient despite aggressive efforts to cool it down.

  • Fed chair Jerome Powell has acknowledged that the labor market has started to come into better balance, especially as more workers join the labor market and immigration rates pick up — helping ease worker shortages.
  • Still, officials are concerned that hot demand for workers would fuel stronger wage growth and, in turn, inflation.
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