MIAMI – The latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows the economy added 372,000 jobs in June, a drop off from this year’s monthly average of 457,000. The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%.
Total employment gains are still historically strong for the first half of the year, they’re more than 20% ahead of the average gains for an entire year during the 2010s.
But there are still about 6 million people who are unemployed, despite job openings remaining at a robust 11.3 million, according to the Labor Department.
Average hourly earnings rose by 5.1% from a year ago, lower than the 8.6% inflation rate. To fund the difference, many Americans are dipping into the savings that they built up during the pandemic.
CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger says the June data will keep the Fed on track to raise interest rates by another .75% at the next meeting in three weeks.
Even with indications that the labor market and the economy are starting to slow down a bit, the central bank has said that it is willing to tolerate higher unemployment to derail inflation.