American employers added 222,000 new jobs in June, while the unemployment rate inched up to 4.4 percent. Hourly earnings also ticked higher by 0.2 percent to 2.5 percent compared with a year ago, according to the monthly jobs report put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also said the number of employed Americans, which set records in February, March and April, set another record in June, at 153,168,000 employed.
Last month, the unemployment rate hit its lowest point in 16 years. Despite the uptick in unemployment, that just means more people are coming back to work, but not everyone has found a new gig.
Retailers have had a tough 2017 with store closings and bankruptcies seemingly being announced weekly. But, the ailing sector also managed to add jobs this month.
Retail trade added 8,100 jobs in June, the first rise in since January.— Bespoke (@bespokeinvest) July 7, 2017
The health care sector and the government also stepped up hiring in June.
June was the 81st consecutive month of job gains. Regarding hourly wages, while the increase is an improvement from earlier months, wages are still not rising as quickly since the 2008 recession. And that's below the 3.5 percent pace economists say is typical of a healthy economy.
Analysts chimed in saying the report was good overall, but that American businesses still have room to make more hires.
Martha Ross, fellow at Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, told Circa, "The jobs report showing continued low unemployment and job growth is good news, but it doesn't mean all Americans have an equally rosy outlook. In fact, there are millions of jobless Americans struggling right now."
Ross says taking a look at the fuller picture of who is unemployed, local leaders can build out strategies to "help connect their residents to employment."
The report comes as consumers are starting to spend more, albeit not by much, and as more people are buying homes. But, less people have been shopping for cars. Still, economists agree the American economy is chugging along.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report