Despite Trade Fears Economy Adds 213,000 Jobs in June

The latest jobs numbers are out from the federal government. What do they mean for job seekers and employers? Here’s a quick take from Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain:

Despite growing uncertainty about a possible U.S. trade war, this morning’s jobs report revealed another month of solid job gains for the U.S. economy, with employers adding 213,000 new jobs in June. That’s mostly in line with economists’ expectations, as the economy continues to run hot this summer with many employers riding a wave of tax stimulus.

One surprise was a slight uptick in the nation’s unemployment rate, to 4.0 percent from last month’s 3.8 percent. While that’s worrisome on the surface, the reasons behind it are good news: the U.S. labor force grew by roughly 600,000 workers in June, as the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 62.9 percent. That reflects growing optimism among job seekers, with today’s strong economy drawing in sidelined workers resulting in a benign, and likely temporary, uptick in the nation’s unemployment rate.

The pace of wage gains in June were unchanged from last month, with average hourly earnings up 2.7 percent from a year ago. That’s up from the roughly 2.5 percent pace we’ve observed over the past year, reflecting the slow and steady building of wage pressure we’ve seen throughout 2018. In Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports, we’ve seen a rising pace of pay growth this year year, with June marking the fastest pace of average wage growth so far in 2018.  

This month’s job gains were led by three main sectors: professional and business services (which includes many tech jobs) (+50,000 jobs), manufacturing (+36,000 jobs), and health care (+34,700 jobs). Hiring in all three of these sectors remains strong on Glassdoor today, with rising online job postings throughout 2018.

By contrast, the weakest job gains in June were in the beleaguered retail sector (-21,600 job losses), followed by two other sectors that have struggled throughout this year: utilities (-300 jobs), and information (which contains most media) (+0 jobs). We’ve seen a steady decline in retail job postings on Glassdoor this year, which in turn has translated in weaker payrolls in monthly BLS tallies.

Today’s jobs report marks the economy’s 93rd consecutive month of positive job gains, by far the longest streak on record. That historic wave of job creation has fueled today’s nine-year-old economic expansion, the second longest in U.S. history since the 1850s. We’ll be watching the numbers closely this year for any sign of a slowdown in today’s red-hot job market.

To speak with Dr. Andrew Chamberlain about today’s jobs report or to discuss labor market trends, contact pr at Glassdoor dot com. For the latest economics and labor market updates, follow @adchamberlain on Twitter and subscribe to Glassdoor Economic Research.