US Job Gains Eases In June

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US job gains eased slightly in June while unemployment edged up, government data showed Friday (Jul 5), in a sign that the world’s biggest economy is cooling steadily as policymakers hope.

Wage growth decelerated, although it still outpaced consumer inflation. But this has not translated into rosy sentiment over the broader economy, adding to President Joe Biden’s challenges as he seeks re-election.

“We have more work to do, but wages are growing faster than prices and more Americans are joining the workforce,” Biden stressed in a statement after the report came out.

The country added 206,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said, marking a slower pace of hiring than May’s revised 218,000 figure.

The gains still beat a consensus estimate of 185,000, signalling that the labour market remains relatively resilient despite high interest rates.

The jobless rate ticked up from 4.0 per cent to 4.1 per cent.

For now, the figures point to a “very gradual, orderly cooling” in the market, ZipRecruiter chief economist Julia Pollak told AFP.

But she pointed to signs of weakness, including downward revisions to April and May hiring numbers by a cumulative 111,000.

The uptick in unemployment, though narrow, also marks the highest level since November 2021 – ending a 30-month stretch where the rate stood at or below 4.0 per cent.

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