WASHINGTON (7/6/15)--The economy added 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.3%, according to numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Thursday (Economy.com July 2).
Despite the positive headline numbers, however, average hourly earnings didn’t budge during the month, and the unemployment rate only fell because of hefty drop in labor force participation, according to Moody’s analysts.
Jobless claims also rose by 10,000 during the last week of June, marking the second straight week of increases.
“The June unemployment report is decidedly a mixed bag,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “Some aspects of the report were quite disappointing, but these could be one-month anomalies and the underlying trend is still favorable.”
Construction job adds fell flat in June, while goods-producing industry payrolls only ticked up slightly. Manufacturers bumped up payrolls by 4,000 after a 7,000-job jump in May, while transportation/warehousing and financial activities also increased their rates of hiring.
The biggest disappointment, meanwhile, came in the form of average hourly earnings, which remained flat in June after a 0.3% gain in May.
On a year-over-year basis, earnings growth slipped to 2% from 2.3%. Additionally, the average workweek stood pat at 34.5 hours.
“The flat average hourly earnings are a blot on the report, but this is mostly because of goods-producing industries,” Koropeckyj said. “Service industry earnings were for the most part more positive.”