Huge Jobs Report: The U.S. Economy Added 288,000 Jobs in June

The latest jobs report has some actual good news for the economy.

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 1, 2014 in New York City. 
National Journal
Matt Berman
July 3, 2014, 4:45 a.m.

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: (Eco­nom­ic Policy In­sti­tute)

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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