July 7, 2017 – The Employment Situation gives the most comprehensive look at the labor market in the U.S. This report tracks new jobs, additions or subtractions from the labor force, the unemployment rate, as well as average hourly earnings and hours worked. There are implications for consumer purchasing power, spending on goods and services, and productivity.
The labor market had stronger gains in June of +222,000 when the consensus was +170,000. May was revised up to 152,000 (+20,000). Some industries had healthy gains such as construction (+16,000), financial (+17,000), and professional services (+35,000). There were large swings in growth from the previous month in government (+42,000) and retail (+15,300). Unemployment grew two tenths to 4.4%, up 0.1% from the consensus. The participation rate rose 0.1% to 62.8% in June. The average workweek went up marginally to 34.5 hours from the 34.4-hour consensus. Average hourly earnings came in just below expectations of 0.3% at 0.2%, up 2.5% year-over-year in June, but May was revised down 0.1% to a 0.1% gain.
Both unemployment and the labor force participation were relatively unchanged in June which can be a contributing factor to wages not rising as much as expected. The manufacturing payroll had another lackluster performance of gains at only 1,000. June had good growth in other areas and was a successful bounce back from the slower month of May, a good way to end the quarter with a healthy monthly average gain of 193,667. Over the past 12 months, employment gains have been slowly declining, but remain well above a loss in jobs.