U.S. economy adds 850,000 jobs in June, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics report

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 850,000 jobs were created in June with notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, and retail trade, among other areas.

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The unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 9.5 million, remained fairly stable, both statistically unchanged. Average hourly wages on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 10 cents to $30.40 in June. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 10 cents to $25.68 in June.

Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), called it a solid jobs report.

“The June jobs report was a solid one, in line with expectations,” Long. “Monthly growth was the strongest since last summer’s reopening, but a significant portion of the gain came from education payrolls as fewer teachers left their jobs at the end of the school year. While those positions add to the job gain totals, they do not affect the number of employed workers, which is one source of the discrepancy between strong job growth last month and an unemployment rate that failed to budge.”

Leisure and hospitality gained 343,000 jobs in the month, while government, mostly teachers, gained 188,000 jobs. There was also a gain of 72,000 jobs in professional and business services.

“Leisure and hospitality also posted another strong gain, which was to be expected with broader reopening of in-person services. Average hours worked remains elevated but has now ticked down for two consecutive months, so perhaps some of the staffing shortages are beginning to abate,” Long said. “Progress is happening, but it remains slower than the optimists had hoped. With inflation fears beginning to subside, Federal Reserve officials are likely to emphasize that it will be a long road ahead before it considers tightening policy.”

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), said the report reflects the economic recovery.

“Today’s jobs report underscores the significant progress we are making in defeating this virus and advancing a strong recovery. The Administration’s successful vaccine rollout has enabled even especially hard-hit sectors of our economy to reopen, and the American Rescue Plan’s direct support to workers, businesses, and state and local governments has bolstered economic security nationwide. Today’s numbers, combined with yesterday’s nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report that forecast unemployment rates falling at an even faster pace than previously anticipated, are a clear indication that we are on a path of strong economic growth,” Beyer said.

Beyer said the report shows that the nation has regained 70 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), member of the Joint Economic Committee, pointed out that job openings are at an all-time high.

“The economy added 850,000 jobs in June, a testament to workers’ and businesses’ persistence in rebuilding after the pandemic. Unfortunately, despite the effectiveness of vaccines suppressing COVID-19 and job openings at an all-time high, employment remains 7 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic levels. Workers are likely responding to poorly designed legislation that pays them unprecedented amounts to not return to work, while unchecked federal spending and suppressed employment have contributed to inflation,” Lee said.

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