In addition to professional services, education and health services, the transportation and logistics sector was another source of strength in the June jobs report.
A separate household survey released by BLS shows that the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7 percent in June-a change that is not significant-making June the 16th consecutive month at or below 4 percent. The industry is averaging 8,000 jobs per month this year, down from 22,000 in 2019. But worker pay was up 3.1 percent compared to the same month a year ago, and has been at or above three percent for 11 straight months, steadily outpacing inflation and delivering more purchasing power to wage earners.
The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, rose to 62.9% last month from 62.8% in May. Trump says the strong economy could be even stronger if already-low interest rates were cut further. With that said, the pace of hiring has clearly downshifted in the economy this year, as the 12-month moving average has trended below 200,000 throughout most of the year. However, the president also insisted that the economy could truly be stellar if the Federal Reserve simply cut interest rates.
That's a healthy rate of growth, especially 10 years into an economic expansion, when a tight labor market makes it more challenging for employers to find the workers they need-at the wages they're willing to pay. While still beating inflation, wages should be growing faster this late in the business cycle, as employers compete to attract workers. The average work week was unchanged at 34.4 hours. The Fed in its semi-annual report to Congress on Friday repeated its pledge to "act as appropriate" to sustain economic growth. Government payrolls rebounded by 33,000, the most since August 2018, after shedding 11,000 jobs in May.
May job growth came well below expectations at just above 70,000. "The economy does not need the Fed to ease but the market continues to scream for action on July 31", Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in a note to clients.
Friday's jobs report reflects conditions in the middle of June, after the threat of tariffs on Mexico was lifted, but before President Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last weekend and agreed not to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports. That rate, known as the U-6, remains slightly elevated from a record low of 6.8% touched in 2000.