Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Jobs Numbers: U.S. Adds 213,000 in June 2018


The unemployment rate rose as an additional 601,000 Americans entered the labor force, meaning a strengthening labor market appears to have actually coaxed some workers back into the labor force.

New entrants, including blue-collar workers and teenagers, shouldn't have much trouble finding a job.

The percentage of unemployment attributable to voluntary quits fell to 12.4 percent, more than reversing a big jump reported in May.

By industry, June was another strong month for the manufacturing sector, which added 36,000 jobs during the month after adding about half that number in May.

Ontario added 34,900 jobs for an increase of 0.5 per cent compared with the previous month, while Saskatchewan posted its largest monthly gain in over six years with the creation of 8,300 positions, which represented 1.5 per cent growth. Trump has suggested that more than $500 billion worth of Chinese imports could be taxed in his drive to force Beijing to reform its trade policies, which he insists have unfairly victimized the United States.

Major trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, have retaliated with their own tariffs.

The June jobs report has a lot of rosy details in it. "There are more people coming into the labor force", said Satyam Panday, senior economist at S&P Global Ratings.

"Contacts expressed concern about the possible adverse effects of tariffs and other proposed trade restrictions", the Fed said in minutes published Thursday.

Trump has also spoken about slapping tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, which General Motors has warned could hurt the US auto industry and drive up vehicle prices.

What about tariffs? On Friday, the USA formally imposed an additional $34 million in tariffs on China. But for now the sector, which accounts for about 12 per cent of the USA economy, appears in good health. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had projected the unemployment rate would remain unchanged at 5.8 per cent, which matched the lowest on record. This was more than the 190,000 forecast by economists. The factory jobs were concentrated in the automobile sector, which had seen a decline in employment in May after a fire at a parts supplier disrupted production.

Overall, unemployment inched up to 4 percent last month, largely due to the expanding pool of people actively seeking jobs. There were gains in professional and business services employment as well as leisure and hospitality. But retailers cut 21,600 jobs last month, after boosting payrolls by 25,100 in May. Automakers added 12,000 jobs in June.

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