June's Employment Situation
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June, according to the Employment Situation Summary released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on July 7. The unemployment rate was virtually unchanged at 4.4%. The healthcare (+37,000 jobs), social assistance (+23,000), and financial activities (+17,000) sectors saw job gains. So far this year, employment growth has been in line with 2016, averaging +187,000 jobs per month. In addition, April numbers for total nonfarm payrolls were revised upward from +174,000 to +207,000.
As of May, the District of the St. Louis Fed had an unemployment rate of 4.0 percent, a decline of 0.5 percentage points since the December 2016. Employment growth has been generally weak, increasing at an annual rate of 0.7 percent since December 2016, about half the national rate.