A closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday showed employment in the U.S. increased by less than expected in the month of June.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 209,000 jobs in June, while economists had expected employment to shoot up by 225,000 jobs.
The report also showed the surges in employment in April and May were downwardly revised to 217,000 jobs and 306,000 jobs, respectively, reflecting a combined downward revision of 110,000.
“A softer jobs report than widely expected has taken some of the steam out of recent market moves, but the labor market remains too tight for the Fed to relax,” said ING Chief International Economist James Knightley.
He added, “A July rate hike is coming, but labor data is the most lagging of indicators and softer inflation next week could see rate hike expectations for further out moderate a touch.”
The job growth in June came as employment continued to trend up in the government, healthcare, social assistance, and construction sectors.
Meanwhile, the report showed the unemployment rate edged down to 3.6 percent in June from 3.7 percent in May, in line with economist estimates.
The modest decrease in the unemployment rate came as the household survey measure of employment jumped by 273,000 persons, while the labor force grew by 133,000 persons.
The Labor Department also said average hourly employee earnings increased by $0.12 or 0.4 percent to $33.58 in June.
Annual wage growth came in at 4.4 percent in June, unchanged from an upwardly revised reading in May. Economists had expected the pace of growth to slow to 4.2 percent from the 4.3 percent originally reported for the previous month.
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