It's a rare "Jobs Thursday" due to tomorrow's holiday, and so America learned a day earlier than usual that the unemployment rate fell to 5.3%, with "a solid" 223,000 jobs added in June, per the AP. That's a tad bit better and worse than expectations, per the Wall Street Journal, which were 5.4% and 233,000 jobs. The rate is also a seven-year low, but writing for the Journal, Michael J. Casey brands the news an "anticlimax. Below consensus but bang in the range of steady and stable growth. No big changes to rate outlook to come from this headline at least." (The AP takes a difference stance: "The numbers show the job market moving close to full health and raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates as early as September.")
Before the numbers hit, Paul Vigna, also writing for the Journal, wasn't expecting the report to rattle the rate outlook much. His take: "With two more jobs reports coming before the Fed’s September meeting, the one at which many people now think they will begin hiking rates, the June report could say almost anything. The July and August reports will be fresher and more important in swaying the Fed’s decision on rates, is the thinking." Among the gloomier details: The percentage of Americans working or looking for work has hit a 38-year low of 62.6%, which Casey sees as a reminder that "there is still a big overhang of unemployable people in the US." There were no gains in average hourly pay, and the April and May numbers were revised downward by 60,000 jobs.