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US economy added 206,000 new jobs in June, outpacing historical norms, new data shows

Wages are slightly outpacing inflation, but there has been a small upward tick in the number of people unemployed.
Posted at 9:20 AM, Jul 05, 2024

The U.S. added 206,000 jobs during the month of June, which showed the U.S. economy is remaining strong despite a prolonged period of high interest rates, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. 

In the last 12 months, the U.S. has averaged 218,000 new jobs per month, bringing the total number of U.S. non-farm jobs to 158.6 million.

June job figures were still solid by recent historical standards. In the last decade, the U.S. averaged about 164,700 new jobs per month.

Despite the recent strength of the job market, unemployment has drifted upward to 4.1%. May ended a span of 27 consecutive months of below 4% unemployment, the longest such period of low unemployment in more than five decades.

In June, government gained 70,000 jobs, health care added 49,000 workers, social assistance employment increased by 34,000, while the construction industry added 27,000 jobs.

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Average hourly wages increased 10 cents in June to $35. Workers are making an average of $1.30 more than a year ago. Average weekly wages were $1,201 in June, up from $1,159 a year ago. The 3.6% increase in wages is slightly outpacing inflation. As of May, the consumer price index was up 3.3% compared to a year earlier.

While employment figures remain strong, not all Americans say they are reaping the benefits. Polling from Gallup found that 48% of Americans believed the state of the economy was "poor" during the month of June, compared to 3% who said it was "excellent," 28% who said it was "good" and 28% who said it was "only fair." Additionally, 69% of Americans said the economy was worsening in June, while 26% said it was improving.

One potential reason Americans say the economy is getting worse is that many Americans are encountering higher levels of debt. Officials said earlier this year credit card debt has been increasing at alarming rates, as more Americans have become delinquent on their debt.