Jul 7, 2023, 10:53am EDT
businessNorth America

What experts make of the new US job numbers

A "Now Hiring" sign is reflected through the window of Intuition Career staffing agency in Greenville, Alabama, U.S., December 4, 2022.
REUTERS/Cheney Orr/File Photo

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The News

The U.S. added 209,000 jobs in June, the Department of Labor said Friday, marking a 30-month streak of consecutive job gains, but falling short of past months’ yields.

We’ve curated helpful analysis about what the new job numbers mean for the U.S. economy and interest rates.

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  • June’s job gains are below the six-month average of 278,000. That average is a much more important metric than a single month’s data, Robert Frick, the corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, told Semafor. “That’s strong by any measure and means more dollars in the pockets of consumers, whose spending is what’s mainly keeping the economy expanding at this point,” Frick said, noting that crucial industries like health care and social assistance saw strong growth.
  • The employment rate for Americans aged 25-54 hit 80.1% and is on an upward trend, economists noted, reaching its highest level in over 20 years. The rate for women in that age range also hit a new peak, while the Black unemployment rate notched a possibly troubling uptick to 6%.
  • As the Federal Reserve debates how much to increase interest rates, Friday’s numbers “probably did little to change policymakers’ minds about the current state of the labor market,” The New York Times reported. That’s because wages for American workers are continuing to grow, which could make it more difficult to bring inflation to a normal pace.