The US labor market rebounds in June, adding far more jobs than expected

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  • The jobs report showed the economy added 224,000 nonfarm payrolls in June, more than economists had expected.
  • The unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.7%.
  • The results eased concerns about a slowdown following surprisingly weak results in May.
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In the latest snapshot of the US economy, government data out on Friday showed that hiring rebounded in June and that wage growth accelerated.

The Labor Department said the US added 224,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, a healthy recovery from a surprisingly weak reading of 75,0000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.7%, but held near historic lows.

The results could offer crucial clues about the state of the expansion, which became the longest on record last week. Even with the economy expected to slow in the coming months, the rebound suggested that the May dip in nonfarm payrolls was more of a fluke than the start of a downward trend.

The labor market has added jobs for 105 straight months, even as the stimulating effects of tax cuts fade and as President Donald Trump remains locked in tariff disputes with some of the US’s largest trading partners.

“The impact of the end of the tax cuts has been magnified in recent months by the hit from the Q4 drop in stocks,” said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “But with the market now at new highs and a trade deal with China back on the agenda, we expect job growth to pick up again in later summer or early fall, heading back to the high 100s.”

The results could muddle the outlook for the Federal Reserve, which has signaled its three-year hiking campaign was coming to an end. In June, the central bank suggested it could lower interest rates at a policy meeting at the end of the month if key sectors weaken or trade tensions worsen.