New Jobs Report Suggests Rate Hike Is a Safe Bet

Employers eased up on hiring, but the labor market remains strong
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 7, 2023 8:01 AM CDT
New Jobs Report Shows Employers Eased Up on Hiring
An employee pushes a cart at a Walmart in Vernon Hills, Ill., in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

America's employers pulled back on hiring but still delivered another month of solid gains in June, adding 209,000 jobs in a sign that the economy's resilience is confounding the Federal Reserve's drive to slow growth and inflation, per the AP. The latest evidence of economic strength makes it all but certain that the Fed will resume its interest rate hikes later this month after having ended a streak of 10 rate increases intended to slow inflation. The figure came in slightly below the forecast of 240,000, per the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps because of that, stock futures were little changed in the wake of the report, notes CNBC, suggesting investors are confident the rate hikes won't be as high or as prolonged as feared.

The June hiring figure reported by the government Friday is below the levels recorded in recent months. But it still points to a durable labor market that also features a historically high number of advertised openings. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6% from 3.7%, and is near a five-decade low. The solid pace of hiring and rising wages have enabled consumers to keep spending on services, from traveling to dining out to attending entertainment events. While economists have repeatedly forecast a recession for later this year or next year, a downturn is unlikely as long as companies keep steadily filling jobs.

(More unemployment stories.)

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