US economy added 206,000 jobs in June, indicating a steady slowdown

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(CNN) — US job growth cooled as expected last month, but the labor market remained strong, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday.

The US economy added 206,000 jobs in June, easing from a downwardly revised May tally of 215,000.

The unemployment rate moved higher, to 4.1% from 4%, marking the first time since November 2021 that the jobless rate was above 4%.

Economists were expecting employers to have added 190,000 jobs last month and for the unemployment rate to remain at 4%, according to FactSet consensus estimates.

“This is another proof point for a steady-as-she-goes labor market where demand is shifting in some key sectors and employers and employees are staying put,” Ger Doyle, ManpowerGroup’s senior vice president, said in a statement issued Friday.

June’s job gains were more broadly based than they have been in the past few months, and the largest chunk of job gains occurred in the public sector, which added a net 70,000 jobs, specifically local government excluding education (up 34,100).

The health care industry added another 48,600 positions.

Wage growth cooled as anticipated, with average hourly earnings rising 0.1% for the month and slowing to 3.9% on an annual basis.

Through the first half of the year, the US has added 1.3 million jobs at an average pace of 222,000 per month, BLS data shows. The job gains are milder than they were last year at this point — and hiring activity certainly has retreated from the blockbuster pace of 2021 and 2022, during the pandemic recovery — however, the jobs market remains historically strong.

The US just notched its 42nd consecutive month of job growth, the fifth-longest employment expansion on record.

This story is developing and will be updated.


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