June 2017 Jobs Report: Better

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USA job creation rebounded in June while the unemployment rate ticked higher as more people entered the work force in search of jobs, the Labor Department reported today.

The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point last month after hitting its lowest level since 2001 in May.

The June 2017 jobs report is one of the many data points showing that healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S.

A Labor Department report shows there were 6 million unfilled job openings in the government's most recent reading, the most since it started keeping track in 2000.

However, the U.S. unemployment rate ticked higher to 4.4 per cent, from 4.3 per cent previously, and earnings were up only 2.5 per cent year on year, slightly lower than expected. The unemployment rate is keeping steady around 4.4 percent, a 0.4 percent decrease since January. Consistently slow wage growth is threatening to distract attention from the overall positive results, analysts say. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said: "The job market continues to power forward". Instead, the strong job market appears to be pulling more Americans off the economy's sidelines - the labor force grew by 361,000 people in June. "Employment increased in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining". The economy has averaged 180,000 new jobs per month over the first half of 2017, down a bit from the 193,000-job average from the previous six months but essentially unchanged from the first half of 2016.

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 5.3 million, changed little in June.

Wells Fargo Securities noted in the goods sector, manufacturing employment posted a small gain, while hiring in construction was up a solid 16,000 jobs, likely reflecting some seasonal improvement.

That's down from 187,000 in the same timeframe a year ago. That labor force participation rate still is near a four-decade low, and economists said the increasing retirement of baby boomers makes it hard to boost the level significantly.

What stands out is that 37,000 jobs added in health care just last month has the potential to be promising, especially when you consider a few other trends. Compared with last June, wages are up 2.5 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in its latest jobs report that the labor market added 222,000 new jobs in June.

- Further tightening of the labor market will boost the growth of wages and salaries over the next two years. As more workers begin looking for jobs, that can push the unemployment rate higher.

Job creation in the United States has slowed down this year.

Jobs in professional and business services gained 35,000 in June and have added 624,000 over the past 12 months.

Payroll processor ADP estimated this week that the private sector added a lackluster 158,000 in June, but that survey was unaffected by the measurement problems that beset Labor in May and the offsetting rebound in June.

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