United States adds 222000 jobs, unemployment rate unchanged

David McNew  Reuters

In a June 29, 2017 update, the Congressional Budget Office said it expects the USA labor market to tighten in the next two years, as greater demand for workers will push the unemployment rate down and the labor force participation rate up.

However, the USA 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.

In June, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 197,000 from a year earlier.

The average workweek increased to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in May. The jobs report does not include farm workers, private household employees, or nonprofits.

One of the sore spots in the breakdown of the payrolls was the third consecutive month of job losses in the automobile sector. Real wages, or the buying power of workers' pay with inflation taken into account, are down 7.4 percent since 2006.

In June, health care added 37,000 jobs.


Certainly the jobless rate has gone down this year, from 4.8 percent in January.

The US economic engine created another 222,000 jobs last month, far surpassing an analyst forecast for 173,000 net new positions, while the jobless rate rose a tenth of a point to 4.4 per cent, according to the report.

Additionally, 1.6 million people were considered marginally attached to the labor force-that is, they are unemployed but want and are available to work, and had looked for a job sometime in the previous 12 months. The employment-population ratio for prime age adults hasn't regained what it lost since the last recession, but it has at least made up most of the difference. The mining sector added 8,000 jobs in June, adding to a total of 56,000 new jobs since reaching a recent low point in October 2016. The industry has added 277,000 jobs over the year.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised up from +174,000 to +207,000; and the change for May was revised up from +138,000 to +152,000.

There were 5,326,000 Americans working part-time in June who would rather have a full-time job but cited economic reasons for not having such employment.

"The trend in employment growth remains more than strong enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down, which we expect will add to upward pressure on wages", said Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics. (Usually, the two tend to move in opposite directions.) There has been a general return of volatility to the stock market after months of steady, incremental gains.

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