After a hugely disappointing May jobs report, the June jobs report has smashed expectations and should, at least temporarily, ease fears that U.S. job growth is slowing down for good.
On Friday morning, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 287,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose slightly, to 4.9 percent. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal were expecting 165,000 jobs added. The rebound in hiring is a relief, as a third consecutive month of low readings would have all but confirmed an economic slowdown. In the report, the Labor Department wrote that the increases “largely offset declines in May and brought both measures back in line with levels that had prevailed from August 2015 to April.”
The May jobs report still remains an outlier and a bit of a mystery. While April’s number was recently revised up, from 123,000 to 144,000, the number of jobs added in May was revised down, from 38,000 to just 11,000. The Verizon strike was expected to lower the number of jobs (since workers on strike are not counted as employed), but the revised number is just a third of the original—which was already the smallest number of jobs added since 2010. This month’s revisions bring the three-month average to 147,000 jobs added per month.