U.S. employers added 224,000 jobs in June, beating Wall Street’s expectations of 160,000 likely quelling some concerns about an impending economic slowdown on the heels of a worse-than-expected month for job creation.
The unemployment rate ticked up slightly at 3.7 percent, while the labor force participation rate was also little unchanged at 62.9 percent. Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, rose by 6 cents to $27.90. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent, slightly missing expectations of 3.2 percent growth.
The number of positions the U.S. added in May dropped to 72,000, down from a previously forecasted 75,000, according to revised data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Friday’s report comes after disappointing job growth in the private sector, with employers adding just 102,000 jobs to their payrolls in June — falling short of analyst expectations of 140,000.
The report was critical for the Federal Reserve’s meeting at the end of July, and could give policymakers at the U.S. central bank pausing about lowering the benchmark federal funds rate, despite pressure from the White House to do so.
“The bounce back in the June jobs number may splash cold water on the notion of an imminent Fed rate cut,” said Tony Bedikian, managing director at Citizens Bank.
Still, traders are pricing in a 100 percent chance of a cut.
“We’ll have to see whether the equity markets can shrug that off when balanced against other macroeconomic factors, such as the hope of a China trade truce,” Bedikian said.
But the trade rhetoric cooled last weekend, after President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed, during a meeting at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, to resume negotiations in the year-long conflict.
The most notable job gains occurred in the professional and business services — which added 51,000 jobs — as well as in health care, with the addition of 35,000 jobs over the month, and transportation and housing, which created 24,000 jobs in June.