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Veteran unemployment rises again in June

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Screen Shot 2017 07 05

While the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 per cent from a 16-year low of 4.3 per cent, that was because more people were looking for work, a sign of confidence in the labour market. That amounts to at least 50,000 fewer jobs than the industry's pre-recession high of 1.18 million jobs in May 2007, according to historical Labor Department data. Also, the May numbers were revised up 14,000 jobs from 138,000 to 152,000.

In June, businesses added 187,000 jobs.

Even with June's strong hiring, average hourly pay rose just 2.5 percent from a year earlier, below the 3.5 percent typical of a healthy economy.

In addition, the year-over-year growth rate in temp jobs was 4.74% in June, down from 4.94% in May but still the largest second-largest year-over-year growth rate since June 2015.

In its June policy meeting, the Fed raised the interest rate and announced a plan to trim its holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and other mortgage-backed securities later this year. Still, the solid June job gains likely keeps the Fed on track for both moves. The Fed, chaired by Janet Yellen, also said after that meeting that it was preparing to start reducing its balance sheet later in 2017, although it didn't give a specific date.

Turning to wages, year-over-year nominal wage growth held at 2.5 percent, in line with recent months. Economists expect worker shortages to boost wage growth, which has remained stubbornly sluggish despite the tightening labor market.

This month's jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has some interesting tidbits for travel agents.

Pappalardo expects little change in the market's recent momentum, considering how the June report offered a consistent picture of the USA economy.

Many economists figure average monthly employment growth will slow this year to about 170,000 from 180,000 last year and 226,000 in 2015 as the low jobless rate makes it tougher for employers to find workers.

One way to overcome the muddy definition of unemployment is instead to focus on how many people are working.

There were other positives in the report.

The average workweek climbed to 34.5 hours from 34.4 in May.

Retailers hired 8,100 workers, a surprise respite for a sector which had shed employment for four straight months.

The number of people across the United States working part time who would rather work full time is 5.3 million and changed little in June. The civilian labor force went up by 361,000, nearly reversing the significant drop seen in May of 429,000, while the number of those not in the labor force dropped by 170,000.

And the longer Congress and the White House remain gridlocked over health care and mired in distractions like the Russian Federation investigation, the less likely hitting those growth target becomes, Hamrick said.

Professional and business services had by far the best month of any employment sector, according to ADP.

Overall, the manufacturing sector added 1,000 jobs last month.

While the current economic expansion is already the third-longest in history, an aging population and a relative lack of technological innovation mean that rates of economic growth have been slower than past boom times.

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