Booming Job Growth in June, Wages Up 2.6 Percent

July 8, 2016

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:

Today’s jobs report revealed a strong and resilient U.S. labor market, with a robust 287,000 new jobs created last month, far above the consensus prediction of most economists.

Following an unusually weak jobs report in May, there was considerable speculation about whether the labor market was heading into a downturn. Today’s report largely rebuffs those fears, showing the weak May figures were likely a one-month statistical anomaly and not a harbinger of a broader economic slowdown.

The new figures reveal an unemployment rate that edged up only slightly to 4.9 percent. This was largely good news, as it partly reflects rejoining of the labor force by 414,000 new workers last month.

Wages in June continued their slow and steady upward march, with average hourly wages growing by 2.6 percent from one year ago. And the much-debated labor force participation rate rose slightly in June to 62.7 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) staving off the long-term decline we’ve seen—and will likely continue to see—in the past decade.

The biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+59,000 jobs), health care (+58,400 jobs), information (+44,000 jobs), professional and business services (+38,000 jobs) and retail (+29,900 jobs). The biggest job losses were in transportation (-9,400 jobs), mining and logging (-5,000 jobs). The construction industry had a net change in jobs of zero in June.

Overall, today’s jobs report shows that seven years into the current economic expansion, the U.S. labor market remains strong and stable. Despite a clear slowing trend in job growth in recent months, the fundamentals of the labor market remain positive.

In terms of Fed policy, today’s strong jobs report will likely encourage a reconsidering of interest rate policy in the remainder of 2016, with an interest rate increase likely back on the table if July and August jobs data continue the strong showing we observed today.

Finally, we won’t learn much about the impact of the polarizing Brexit vote from this month’s jobs report. The two BLS surveys it’s based on were actually conducted before the Brexit vote on June 23rd, so we’ll be watching next month’s numbers closely for whatever impact it may have on the U.S. labor 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.