- The U.S. gained an estimated 224,000 nonfarm jobs in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics' (BLS) monthly jobs report. June’s jobs gain far exceeded May’s 72,000 total and surpassed April’s 216,000 (both revised down from initial reports). June’s unemployment rate was 3.7%, a slight uptick of 0.1% since May.
- Industry-based job growth was notable in professional and business services (+51,000), healthcare (+35,000) and transportation and warehousing (+24,000). Gains also occurred in construction (+21,000) and manufacturing (+17,000).
- The number of unemployed people in June was 6 million, according to BLS, up slightly from 5.9 million in May. Unemployment rates were relatively unchanged across all worker demographics.
Some experts predict an economic slowdown is on the way, based in part on job number trends. Average employment growth dropped in 2019 to 172,000 a month, compared to an average 223,000 a month in 2018, according to BLS. But whether those predictions are accurate is far from certain.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a left-leaning think-tank, speculated about a possible slowdown in the economy — but revised that prediction upon seeing the official BLS numbers: "While job growth in May and February of this year was well below trend, strong June job growth is a sign that the economy is not in slowdown as it continues to approach full employment."
EPI noted the comparatively higher black worker unemployment rate. While black worker unemployment dropped this month and in the past few months, EPI suggested that the drop may be due in part to people leaving the workforce and not more people finding jobs.
Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS, noted in a series of tweets that while iCIMS had also predicted a soft jobs report in June, job growth seems to be back to its usual form. But he also made clear that concerns over stagnant wage growth remain for the health of the economy overall. Those concerns are not new for most economists; wage stagnation has been a noted trend since at least 2018. While the reasons behind such stagnation vary, experts previously told HR Dive it may be due in part to the increasingly global nature of the job market and the rise of the contingent workforce, driving employers to remain conservative in their wage adjustments.