Breaking down the June jobs report

The U.S. added 224,000 jobs last month. More importantly, nominal average hourly earnings rose by 3.1% year over year, the White House noted in a recent post.

Reproduced from 2 CNBC charts, using Federal Reserve data; Chart: Axios Visuals
"Prior to 2018, nominal average hourly wage gains had not reached 3% since April 2009."

What to watch: The education and health services sector has been been one of the strongest in the economy for much of this year and beyond.

  • The unemployment rate for workers in the sector has traditionally been much lower than for U.S. workers overall. Even during the Great Recession, education and health services workers' unemployment never touched 7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Last month, despite a net increase in jobs, it rose to 3%, its highest since July 2018.

What's next

Jobs only seem hot, and that's why wages are sluggish

The hottest months on record have been the backdrop for what, on the surface, has seemed to be an equally red-hot U.S. labor market, with the lowest joblessness in a half century, rising wages, and bettering prospects for the least advantaged people.

Quick take: But, at odds with classic textbook lessons, experts now cite evidence that the economy may actually only be warm, with millions of people still wishing to get hired, to turn part-time or gig work into full-time employment, and to earn more money.

Go deeperArrowAug 3, 2019 - Future

U.S. labor market chugs on with 164,000 jobs added in July

The U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs in July — right in line with economists' expectations of 165,000 jobs— the Labor Department said on Friday, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%.

Why it matters: The labor market is still the standout of the record long economic expansion, although cracks are beginning to show. The pace of job growth is slowing down, as the government revised its previous predictions to show that the market had added 41,000 fewer jobs than initially estimated over the last two months.

The good news and bad news about wage growth

Fast-food workers, cashiers, cooks, delivery people and their supporters held a rally outside New York City Hall in 2017. Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Having largely been left out of the U.S. recovery over the past decade, low-wage workers are starting to see their incomes rise meaningfully and are pushing for more.

Why it matters: With a tight labor market wherein the number of job openings exceeded the number of unemployed by the largest margin on record, businesses are having to make more concessions to keep low-wage workers and find new ones.