US economy adds 209,000 jobs, unemployment rate stays the same

The economy adds fewer jobs than expected in June as President Joe Biden touts ‘Bidenomics’

Eric Garcia,Andrew Feinberg
Friday 07 July 2023 15:30 BST
US Job Openings Dip But Remain High

The US economy added 209,000 jobs in the month of June, far lower than expectations, though wage growth remained resilient, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The number comes a day after ADP said that the economy added 497,000 jobs last month, far higher than the actual number reported by the US government. In addition, the BLS revised the jobs report from April from 294,000 jobs added down to 217,000 jobs and 339,000 jobs added in May down to 306,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate ticked down from 3.7 per cent in May to 3.6 per cent in June.

At the same time, hourly earnings remained robust, increasing 0.4 per cent in June and 4.4 per cent in the past 12 months.

Unemployment for white people ticked down slightly from 3.3 per cent in May to 3.1 per cent in June. But jobless rates for other major groups including adult men, adult women, teenagers, Black, Asian and Hispanic workers remained unchanged.

President Joe Biden, who has in recent days been touting his economic record with a series of appearances across the US, said in a statement that the continued job growth represents “Bidenomics in action” and pointed out that the 13.2 million jobs added to the US economy since the start of his term is more than any president has overseen in a full four-year term.

“The unemployment rate has now remained below 4 percent for 17 months in a row—the longest stretch since the 1960s.  The share of working-age Americans who have jobs is at the highest level in over 20 years. Inflation has come down by more than half. We are seeing stable and steady growth,” he said. “That’s Bidenomics—growing the economy by creating jobs, lowering costs for hardworking families, and making smart investments in America”.

The news comes despite the fact that the Federal Reserve paused raising interest rates last month after it had consistently done so to cool down a hot labour market as a way to ease inflation. Increased jobs typically coincide with higher inflation given that employed consumers have more demand in the economy.

Employment in government led the job increases, adding 60,000 jobs during June followed by health care, which added 41,000 jobs and social assistance, which added 24,000 jobs.

But retail trade employment shed 11,000 jobs, while building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers lost 10,000 jobs. Furniture, home furnishings, electronics, and appliance retailers lost 5,000 jobs.

The decidedly mixed jobs report comes as Mr Biden has attempted to tout his economic record, adopting the term “Bidenomics” to describe his policies such as the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed last year.

On Thursday, he visited South Carolina to talk about his record and tout the fact that the United States attracted almost half a billion dollar private investment in manufacturing.

“It’s historic, and it’s Bidenomics in action,” he said. “Instead of exporting jobs to cheaper labor costs -- what we did for decades -- we’re creating jobs here and exporting American product.”

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