Employers created 287,000 jobs in June, the biggest jump in eight months and a spectacular number that surprised nearly everyone. More people found work or started looking for work.
The Labor Department’s monthly employment report measures what was happening in the job market before Britain caused a market tailspin by voting to withdraw from the European Union. Still, it supports the idea that the U.S. economy generally remains resilient in the face of global turmoil.
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While job creation is moving in the right direction, progress is slow and big challenges remain.
Workers are in greater demand but they’re not making more money. Wage growth is weak. And not everyone is benefitting from low unemployment. Joblessness among African-Americans, for example, is 75 percent higher than for the general population.
“The job market’s stubborn refusal to heal despite a big pickup in employment makes it a lot harder for the economy to create future homebuyers,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said.
Worries about job security and income growth led homebuyers to hit a downbeat note last month, according to mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Fewer people reported significantly higher income, and more were worried about losing their job. Nearly 60 percent said the economy is on the wrong track.
“Growing pessimism about the overall direction of the economy gives us further pause as it now stands at the highest level we’ve seen in our National Housing Survey in the last two years,” Fannie chief economist Doug Duncan wrote.
The economy probably isn’t as strong as June’s outsized 287,000 jobs suggest. Nor is it as weak as May’s really low report of 11,000 jobs. It’s still moving in the right direction, just too slowly.
— With Callie Monroe