The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June. That was a big increase from the 152,000 jobs added in May, which was itself an upward revision from the initially reported 138,000. (And remember how disappointing that was.) Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected the economy to add 173,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate actually ticked higher in June to 4.4% from 4.3% in May as the stronger job market drew discouraged workers back into the labor force.
But despite all this evidence of a tighter job market, hourly earnings continued to disappoint. Average hourly earnings in June climbed by just 0.2%. That was below the 0.3% gain that economists had expected. In addition, growth in average hourly earnings was revised downward to 0.1% growth in May from 0.2%.
The job growth is an argument for another Federal Reserve interest rate increases in 2017–September or December are commonly mentioned targets. But the anemic wage growth–contributing as it does to stubbornly low inflation below the Fed’s target–will bolster the case of Fed members who are arguing for delay.
As of 12:30 p.m. New York time the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.66% and the NASDAQ Composite was ahead 1.06%. U.S. crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate was lower by 2.61% to $44.33 a barrel.