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U.S. June Job Gains Beat Estimates

Some analysts note, though, that trade tariffs could potentially have a negative effect in the months ahead.

In a Nutshell

*The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June.

*Unemployment crept up to 4% as more people, encouraged by favorable hiring conditions, entered the job market.

It’s a good time to be a worker in the United States.

Despite worries over potential trade tariff impacts and reports of labor shortages, federal data showed that the U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, beating the expectations of Bloomberg-surveyed economists, who had predicted a tally of 195,000.

While jobs were up, the unemployment rate also rose in June – from an 18-year low of 3.8% in May to 4% in June. The unemployment rise was a result of about 601,000 more Americans entering the job market in search of positions – an influx encouraged by favorable hiring conditions, the Labor Department said. Over the longer haul, some analysts think the unemployment rate could drop to as low as 3.5% by year’s end.

According to the federal jobs data, the private sector added 202,000 jobs in June, while federal, state and local governments bolstered their ranks by 11,000. Education and healthcare did the most hiring, filling 54,000 positions. Professional and business services came next with 50,000 payroll gains. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector created 36,000 jobs, and the construction industry came in with an additional 13,000 positions. Leisure and hospitality pumped up positions by 25,000. The down note sounded from the retail sector, which eliminated 22,000 jobs as ecommerce continues to impact the sales of brick-and-mortar businesses.

Despite the widespread job gains, analysts are concerned that what some are calling a trade war between the U.S. and key trade partners like China, Canada and the European Union could soon start hurting American companies, leading to domestic job loss. The worry comes as President Donald Trump’s administration has placed tariffs on certain imports – moves that have prompted tariff retaliation from countries like Canada and China.

Even with the tight labor market, average hourly earnings haven’t accelerated as quickly as anticipated. In June, earnings rose 5 cents to $26.98, which places the annual increase at an unchanged 2.7%. Economists think gains in the latter half of the year could ultimately bump the annual wage rise up to 3%.