A closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday showed U.S. job growth exceeded economist estimates in the month of June.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 372,000 jobs in June after surging by a revised 384,000 jobs in May.
Economists had expected employment to increase by 268,000 jobs compared to the addition of 390,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
“The strong 372,000 gain in non-farm payrolls in June appears to make a mockery of claims the economy is heading into, let alone already in, a recession,” said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.
He added, “That may be enough to solidify the case for another 75bp rate hike at the Fed’s meeting later this month, although signs that wage growth is cooling and the recent plunge in commodity prices both suggest the inflation outlook could improve more quickly than officials had feared.”
The stronger than expected job growth reflected notable job gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and healthcare.
Meanwhile, the report showed the unemployment remained at 3.6 percent for the fourth month in a row, matching economist estimates.
“While that is close to a 50-year low, the stabilization echoes other measures of slack in suggesting that worker shortages are no longer quite as severe as they were a few months ago,” Hunter said.
The unemployment remained unchanged as the labor force shrank by 353,000, while the household survey measure of employment slumped by 315,000.
The report also showed average hourly earnings rose by $0.10 or 0.3 percent to $32.08 in June. The annual rate of wage growth slowed to 5.1 percent in June from 5.3 percent in May.
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