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The overall increase in pay is "the standout feature of this report," said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. Low inflation rate is also helping consumers, he noted.
"The tide is continuing to turn for the consumer," Sweet said. "The consumer is going to continue to be able to shoulder this recovery."
Retail and service firms drive June hiring
June’s robust hiring was driven again by the U.S. service industry, signaling growing confidence in the American consumer.
The hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, hotels, casinos and amusement parks, led all groups with 75,000 added jobs. More than two-thirds of those were at restaurants.
Retailers added 37,100 jobs. Professional and business services added 53,000 positions. The financial industry created 17,000 jobs.
Construction firms added 13,000 jobs last month, further evidence of the strengthening recovery in housing. Through the first six months of the year, the industry has created 101,000 jobs.
The weakest parts of the job market remain manufacturing and government.
Factories shed jobs for the fourth straight month and have cut 24,000 positions since February.
And governments cut jobs for the fourth time this year, although the job losses were strictly at the federal and state levels. Local governments added 13,000 jobs and have created 49,000 since February.
Here’s a look at the jobs added or lost in each major industry category:
Industry » June/May/Past 12 months
Construction » 13,000/7,000/190,000
Manufacturing » 8,000/9,000/29,000
Retail » 37,100/26,900/300,100
Transportation, warehousing » 5,100/6,800/56,600
Information (Telecom, publishing) » 5,000/1,000/13,000
Financial services » 17,000/6,000/108,000
Professional services (Accounting, temp work) » 53,000/65,000/624,000
Education and health » 13,000/23,000/366,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment » 75,000/69,000/514,000
Government » 7,000/12,000/64,000
Source: Labor Department
June brings more jobs to men and teenagers
The U.S. unemployment rate may have been unchanged last month from May at 7.6 percent. But for adult men, who make up a slight majority of the workforce, June was a time of improvement.
Unemployment for men 20 and older dropped to 7.0 percent. That’s down from 7.2 percent in May and just above March’s 6.9 percent — the lowest since November 2008.
The rate for white adult men fell to 6.2 percent from 6.4 percent in May. Unemployment was also lower for black adult men — going from 13.5 percent in May to a still-high 13.0 percent.
Early-summer hiring wasn’t quite as kind to adult women. Their unemployment rate rose to 6.8 percent, up from a four-year low of 6.5 percent. And unemployment for black women 20 and older shot up to 12 percent, from 11.2 percent in May.
All those restaurant and retail jobs added in June appeared to help teenagers: Unemployment for that group fell to 24 percent, down from 24.5 percent in May.
June’s 7.6 percent unemployment rate is derived from a survey of households, which found that 177,000 more people started looking for jobs last month. Most found them. The increase suggests that Americans think their job prospects have brightened.
But because some of the job seekers didn’t find work right away, the number of unemployed was largely unchanged at 11.8 million.
The 195,000 job gain for June is calculated from a separate survey of employers.
The percentage of Americans either working or actively looking for work rose for a second straight month to 63.5 percent. This is called the "labor force participation rate." The participation rate has been generally declining since peaking at 67.3 percent in 2000. That’s partly the result of baby boomers retiring and leaving the workforce.
Despite the solid pace of hiring, the economy is growing only sluggishly. It expanded at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter. Most analysts expect growth at roughly the same subpar rate in the April-June quarter.
Weak economies overseas cut demand for U.S. exports in May. That led some economists to predict that growth in the second quarter might be slower than forecast.
Still, many areas of the economy are improving. The Fed’s low-rate policies have led more Americans to buy homes and cars. They also helped boost stock and home prices in the first half of the year, increasing wealth and lifting consumer confidence.
Auto sales in the January-June period topped 7.8 million, their best first half since 2007, according to Autodata Corp. and Ward’s AutoInfoBank. Sales of previously occupied homes exceeded 5 million in May, the first time that’s happened since November 2009. New-home sales rose at their fastest pace in five years.
Tribune staff writer Paul Beebe and AP business writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.
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