- The labor market gained 213,000 nonfarm jobs in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a somewhat unexpected twist, the unemployment rate rose by 0.2%, after stalling for six consecutive months at 4.1%, then dropping to 3.9% in April and again, to 3.8%, in May.
- Industries with the biggest job gains were professional and business services (50,000), manufacturing (36,000) and healthcare (25,000). Retail trade lost 22,000 jobs in June, offsetting a more than 25,000 gain in May.
- Although unemployment rose from May’s figures, more of the people who were jobless or had given up looking for work became labor-market participants, according to analysis by The New York Times. In the ADP National Employment Report for June, the private-sector picked up 177,000 jobs, matching pace with the BLS report.
While unemployment ticked upward, projections have claimed that it could fall as low as 3.5% within a year — good news for the economy, but somewhat troubling news for employers. A tight labor market is enabling employees in low-paying or unappealing jobs to search elsewhere for better opportunities, pressuring employers to shift their recruiting, retention and engagement practices.
"Summer hiring is at record levels, and with a shortage of skilled workers, many employers may be asking summer workers to stick around," Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad Sourceright, told HR Dive in an emailed statement. "Employers are increasingly using summer hiring as a way to try out employees and turn the best seasonal talent into year-round, permanent or contingent hires."
Partly for this reason, more employers are investing in stronger benefits — particularly employee development programs and paid family leave — to encourage employees to stick around longer. Turnover is expensive; one study puts it at about 33% of a worker's annual salary, or $15,000 for a person salaried at $45,000.
On top of this, trade tensions and rising tariffs could lead to fewer jobs, less investment activity and decreased wages, according to reporting by The New York Times — just another thing for employers to keep an eye on.