In the days prior to the release of June’s fantastic jobs report, there were a lot of worries, from economists and analysts and even the Federal Reserve, about whether the U.S. economy was in fact stalling. But the number of jobs added in June—287,000—turned out to be a huge rebound from May’s miserly 11,000. Tom Perez, the U.S. Labor Secretary, says he believes that the economy continues to move in the right direction.
“The June report again shows what the broader trend data has shown over the last five, six years—which is that the economy is resilient,” said Perez in a phone interview Friday. “There may be aberrational months, like last month, but when you look at broader trend data, which is what we need to do to make judgments about the state of the economy, we continue to move in the right direction.”
The May jobs report remains an outlier, as the number of jobs added in that month was revised down from 38,000 to just 11,000. Part of the reason the new number was so low was a wide-reaching strike at Verizon, so a big rebound was expected for June as those workers returned to their jobs. Since 2011, there have been eight months where the U.S. economy added fewer than 100,000 jobs—which is usually considered disappointing. This latest dip was followed by a strong rebound, but May’s shortfall has defied explanation, even after accounting for a telecom strike or a sampling error.