Economy adds 31,800 jobs in June, unemployment rate rises to 6.0%

The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, as unemployment rose to 4 percent

In its report Friday, the government revised up its estimate of job growth in May and April by a combined 37,000.

Many analysts read the higher jobless rate as an encouraging sign because the influx of almost 76,000 job seekers back into the labour market last month suggested more people are optimistic they can find work thanks to the hotter economy.

The growing optimism that people can find work suggested that the 9-year old USA economic expansion - the second-longest on record - has the momentum to keep chugging along.

At the same time, the jobless rates for black and Asian Americans rose after reaching record lows in May.

Manufacturers hired 36,000 workers in June, the most in six months, adding to the 19,000 jobs created in May.

Automakers added 12,000 jobs in June, but adverse trade developments could deflate the gain. This extra labour supply has seemingly helped keep wage growth in check. Over the past three months, the economy has produced a robust average monthly job gain of 211,000. At the same time, more people entered the labour force to look for work, helping push the unemployment rate up for the first time in nearly a year. This suggests the Federal Reserve needs to keep raising interest rates with at least two more rate hikes likely this year. The increase is above the gains required for the accommodation of the population growth and about 20,000 more compared to last year's average during the same period.

Despite strong hiring, wage growth remained sluggish, and was effectively erased by inflation: average hourly earnings rose just 0.2 per cent to US$26.98, putting wages up 2.7 per cent over the same month past year, the same as the 2.7 per cent rise in the Consumer Price Index.

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New entrants, including blue-collar workers and teenagers, shouldn't have much trouble finding a job. "Combined with additional jobs and steady hours, payrolls are up by 5 percent since June 2017".

"Wages could rise at a faster pace in the future as the economy is humming and the labour market is tight", said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at SS Economics in Los Angeles.

Signs of the Trump administration's trade war with China and did not show up in the report.

The broader US economy appears to be on sturdy ground.

United States non-farm employment rose by 213K positions in June, but the unemployment rate climbed to 4.0%, up from 3.8% in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing, construction and other sectors heavily reliant on trade are seen taking a big hit from the tariff wars.

Economists had projected that the non-farm payroll would jump by 195,000 while the unemployment rate would remain unchanged at 3.8%, its lowest level since April 2000. This uptick in people joining the workforce - there were 601,000 new entrants to the labor force in June - pushed up the unemployment rate. Meanwhile, yesterday's minutes of the June FOMC meeting reported "some" contacts said, "plans for capital spending had been scaled back or postponed as a result of uncertainty over trade policy".

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