US adds huge 287,000 jobs in June

A man delivers boxes in midtown at Rockefeller Centre on May 6, 2016, in New York.
A man delivers boxes in midtown at Rockefeller Centre on May 6, 2016, in New York. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US employers added 287,000 jobs in June, a strong rebound from May’s unnerving plunge in hiring, delivering a fresh sign of US economic strength, the Labor Department reported on Friday (July 8).  

The number was 112,000 more positions than analysts had expected, and came amid worries by policymakers that the world’s largest economy had begun to stall amid a global slowdown.

And although May’s original total of 38,000 new jobs was revised downward to just 11,000, the June hiring numbers boosted the average total of the last three months to a solid 147,000 per month, which economists say is at least adequate to keep up with the steady increase in the size of the US workforce.  

Nevertheless the US unemployment rate, which is based on a separate database from the job creation numbers, rose to 4.9 per cent, still near the lowest level in more than eight years.

The May jobs data had increased nervousness that the US economy was slowing down, adding to downward pressure on the dollar and contributing to the Federal Reserve’s decision last month to put off an interest rate hike.  

The dollar pushed up sharply higher immediately after the new data was released, jumping to $1.1016 (S$1.49) against the euro compared with $1.1078 before the announcement.