Labor Department to release employment data for June

Stocks subdued post Fed minutes

Government statistics released today show the US economy added 220,000 jobs last month, which could be encouraging for new college graduates seeking work. Average hourly wages increased by 4 cents to $26.25 for workers in the private sector. Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016. Average hourly earnings, which currency traders monitor closely, increased 0.2 percent in June, short of the 0.3 percent expected.

The health care sector added 37,000 jobs in June, defying expectations that concerns over the future Republican plans to replace and repeal Obamacare would slow job growth in this area. The rebound in available jobs after the recession has attracted millions of Americans back into the labor force. The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed USA workers, showed a 0.5 percent wage increase from Q1 to Q2 2017.

This month's numbers came as economists have anxious that the United States economy is struggling to create large numbers of new jobs despite president Donald Trump's pledge to create "JOBS!"

That's not quite as many as the 908,000 jobs added during President Barack Obama's last five months in office. Hiring has averaged almost 180,000 jobs a month this year, only slightly below last year's pace. As more workers begin looking for jobs, that can push the unemployment rate higher.

Small business, a leading driver of jobs growth, added just 17,000 jobs in the month with the smallest of small businesses, those employing one to 19 people, recording zero jobs added.

Labor Department to release employment data for June

CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain around 4.3 percent by the end of 2017 and then drop further to 4.2 percent in early 2018. The labor force participation rate rose slightly to 62.8 percent percentage points and the employment-to-population ratio also rose slightly to 60.1 percentage points.

Underemployment, which measures people who want to be working full-time but are not, rose to 8.6% in June from 8.4% in May.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also adjusted the figures for April (from 174,000 to 207,000) and May (from 138,000 to 152,000). Although the unemployment rate ticked up from the previous month, it did so because more people joined the work force.

In June this May this rate fell to 8.4%, the lowest reading since June 2007. In Friday's report, BLS said the economy added 1,000 manufacturing jobs last month, for a total of 12,396,000.

The increase of 222,000 jobs is a positive signal, but investors are keeping a close eye on wages, Pappalardo added.

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