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U.S. employers add 209,000 jobs in June, as jobless rate falls to 3.6%

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U.S. employers added 209,000 nonfarm jobs in June, under the monthly average of 278,000 for the first half of 2023, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. June’s unemployment rate fell to 3.6% versus May’s 3.7%.

Employment growth continued in construction (23,000 jobs), government (60,000 jobs), health care (41,000 jobs) and social assistance (24,000 jobs) sectors. Social assistance has averaged 22,000 new hires per month over the first half of 2023, in agreement with the average of 19,000 per month in 2022.

Monetary policy matters to employment growth. Take the Federal Reserve Bank’s halt of interest-rate hikes to tame a rise of inflation, or a general uptick in prices. That policy change helps construction activity, which relies upon borrowed money for payroll expenses and more, such as supplies.

Retail trade employment shed 11,000 jobs in June, according to the BLS. Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers lost 10,000 jobs. Employment in transportation and warehousing shed 7,000 jobs, as did couriers and messengers, and warehousing and storage firms. Air transportation employers added 3,000 new hires.

Self-employment dipped quite a bit in June, continuing a trend underway. Employment in professional and business services changed little in June, with 21,000 jobs created, according to the BLS. “Monthly job growth in the industry has averaged 40,000 thus far in 2023, down from 62,000 per month in 2022.” Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services continued and upward trend, with 23,000 new hires in June.

Job-stayers pay increased 6.4% in June versus 6.6% in May, according to the June ADP National Employment Report, a production of the ADP Research Institute and the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. “For job changers, pay gains slowed for the 12th straight month, to 11.2%, the slowest pace of growth since October 2021.”

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons increased by 452,000 to 4.2 million in June,” according to the BLS, (citing the household data survey) “partially reflecting an increase in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are individuals who would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”

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