Non-farm jobs jumped by a surprisingly robust 287,000 in June, exceeding all but the most optimistic expectations. It was the second-largest jobs increase in a year and follows a month where new jobs grew by a paltry 11,000, down from an initial report of 38,000.
This morning’s report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also said that unemployment ticked up from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent, in part due to an influx of workers — many of them new grads — joining the labor force.
Some of June’s increase is due to the end of a Verizon strike that idled 35,000 workers, which the government counted as lost jobs in May. On the other side of the ledger, June’s numbers don’t reflect any impact from Britain’s vote to exit the Economic Union, a result that rocked the world’s economic markets. Any effect there won’t be known until the government issues its report for July’s employment.
Still, June’s numbers will help calm fears of a stalling jobs market. Except for softness in the oil and gas industry, and a 9,400 drop in transportation and warehousing, all major sectors showed job growth. The leisure and hospitality sector and healthcare had the largest increases. Seasonal recreation increases accounted for 27,200 jobs and bars and restaurants added another 21,900 workers. Healthcare grew by 38,500 jobs.
The private sector accounted for 265,000 of the new jobs, well above what economists were expecting and better, even, than what ADP reported Thursday in its National Employment Report.
A CareerBuilder forecast for the rest of this year predicts the second half will look a lot like the first half in terms of job growth. Based on a survey of 2,153 hiring and HR managers, CareerBuilder says:
- 50 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent workers, on par with 49 percent last year
- 29 percent of employers plan to hire part-time employees, on par with 28 percent last year
- 32 percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers, down slightly from 34 percent last year.
For the current quarter, 34 percent of the surveyed employers reported they plan to add full-time, permanent headcount, the same that said that last year.
One difference between the coming six months and the prior, says the CareerBuilder report, will be higher wages. About 40 percent of employers said they will pay higher starting salaries to new employees brought on in the next six months; 20 percent will pay at least 5 percent more. Current employees, too, will get a boost; 53 percent of employers said they plan raises for all workers before the end of the year.
That echoes what the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggests may be the start of a general wage increase, long expected by economists. In its June report, the BLS said, average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased 2 cents to $25.61, following a 6-cent increase in May. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.6 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.51 in June.