The U.S. labor market expanded at a blistering pace in June, adding more than 222,000 jobs, according to Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That was far better than the 175,000 jobs expected by Wall Street economists.
The unemployment rate rose slightly, from 4.3 percent to 4.4 percent, according BLS. This was actually good news because it reflected more Americans re-entering the labor market.
The average hourly wage rose by 2.5 percent. Wage growth has been one of the key missing ingredients through much of the recent economic expansion.
In another sign of strength for the labor market, average hours worked also grew in June. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in June. In manufacturing, the workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours. The average workweek for production andnonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.
The BLS also said that April and May added 47,000 more jobs than previously announced. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 194,000 a month, far outpacing the rate most economists expected.
The health care sector added 37,000 jobs in June, defying expectations that concerns over the future Republican plans to replace and repeal Obamacare would slow job growth in this area. Mining has bounced back from its pre-election low, adding 7,000 jobs for the month for a total of 56,000 new jobs since October.