WASHINGTON—Job creation in June jumped more than 50 percent from the previous month with more people entering the labor force as the economy continues to recover.
The U.S. Labor Department announced on Friday that the U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs last month, beating a consensus estimate of 706,000. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent in May.
Increased vaccinations and reopenings across the country led the economic activity to expand, boosting demand for more workers. As of June, however, the U.S. economy was still short 6.8 million jobs relative to February 2020.
“Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail trade, and other services,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent for the month and 3.6 percent year over year, in line with expectations. And the labor force participation rate remained at 61.6 percent in June. The participation rate hasn’t improved in the United States since August of 2020.
In June, employment in leisure and hospitality surged by 343,000, amid easing restrictions across the country. More than half of the job gain was in bars and restaurants. But the sector is still short of 2.2 million jobs compared to February 2020.
Other notable jobs gains were recorded in the public and private education sector (269,000), professional and business services (72,000), and retail (67,000).
However, there is still a lack of strong job creation in the goods side of the economy. Manufacturing increased by only 15,000 for the month. And construction sector lost another 7,000 positions after losing a net 25,000 jobs over the past two months.
BY EMEL AKAN