The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, according to the new jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 to 6.1 percent.
On top of that good news comes positive revisions for job gains in May and April. The May report was revised up from 217,000 jobs to 224,000, and the April report was boosted from 282,000 to 304,000. Average hourly wages are up two percent since last June.
A big month wasn't unexpected. Economists predicted that the U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in June, and the private payrolls provider ADP pegged June's job growth at 281,000. The U.S. economy has now added over 200,000 jobs a month since February, the kind of growth unseen since the tech boom in 1999 and 2000. Last month, the U.S. finally recovered all jobs lost during the recession.
Now the requisite cold water: not everything is suddenly great. The economic recovery is still moving along, but it's not now suddenly boosting everyone ahead. The number of long-term unemployed Americans dropped by 293,000 to 3.1 million in June, but some of that drop could be the result of people dropping out of the labor force. The unemployment rate for black Americans dropped in June, but it's still at 10.7 percent, well above the 5.3 percent rate for white Americans. The number of involuntary part-time workers increased in June by 275,000.
And as the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute showed last month, there's still a massive shortfall in jobs when you look at the growth of the potential labor force:
So there's obviously a ways to go. But the last five months of jobs growth have been incredibly promising, suggesting that the recovery actually, really this time is getting serious. This report is, by-and-large, very good news.
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