Jul 06, 2018

Putting U.S. Employment Numbers in Context – June 2018

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the economy gained 213,000 jobs in June and the U.S. unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.0 percent, largely due to people optimistic about the economy entering the labor force to look for jobs. The number of jobs added during April and May was revised up to 175,000 and 244,000 total jobs respectively for an average of roughly 215,000 jobs created per month so far this year.

During the Trump administration’s first 17 months, average hourly earnings for all private sector employees rose roughly 3.8 percent, signaling a strong turnaround for workers after years of stagnant wage growth. Additionally, the economy gained roughly 3.2 million jobs, at an average rate of 189,176 jobs per month and the unemployment rate dropped 0.8 percentage point. The largest private sector job gains were seen in education and health services, as well as professional and business services.

However, the recent imposition of tariffs on various goods imported into the U.S. will undermine accelerated job growth, the overall labor market, and is already costing businesses and consumers more. One estimate showed that nearly 36 million U.S. jobs were supported by trade in 2016. Today’s expanding economy is due in part to the current administration’s growth agenda, such as tax relief and addressing regulatory barriers, but tariffs are a lose-lose for the consumers, workers, and businesses that tax reform was intended to help.

Below is a deeper look at the numbers from today’s report, what they say about the state of the U.S. labor market, and how the Trump administration is tracking.