U.S. Added 206K Jobs in June as Unemployment Rate Rose to Highest Since November 2021

The U.S. employment market remained reasonably strong in June, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting Friday the addition of 206,000 jobs, down from May’s 218,000 (revised from an originally reported 272,000) but modestly topping economist estimates for 190,000.

The unemployment rate in June rose to 4.1% versus 4.0% in May and forecasts for 4.0%.

Average hourly earnings rose by 0.3% compared with forecasts for 0.3% and May’s 0.4%. Looking at the metric on a year-over-year basis, it was higher by 3.9% versus expectations for 3.9% and the previous month’s 4.1% reading.

The price of bitcoin (BTC) dipped a hair to $55,300 in the minutes following the news, but the drop is negligible given the roughly 10% crash over the past 48 hours as markets dealt with the crush of supply coming from Mt. Gox repayments and German government sales.

Ahead of this morning’s data, traders were putting nearly zero chance of a U.S. Federal Reserve rate cut at the bank’s July 31 meeting, but more than a 70% chance of lower rates at the mid-September meeting, according to the CME FedWatch tool. Speaking this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell leaned somewhat dovish as he suggested a weaker job market might trump concern over inflation as the central bank decides on the path forward for monetary policy.

While the headline 206,000 jobs added topped forecasts, other data suggests some weakness. May’s job gain was revised down to 218,000 from 272,000. In addition April’s originally reported job gain of 165,000 was revised down to 108,000. Taking the three months together shows an average job gain of 177,000 versus 249,000 for the prior quarter.

In addition, while the unemployment rate rose just modestly, the 4.1% reading is the highest level since November 2021.

A check of traditional markets finds U.S. stock index futures inching higher following the report and the 10-year Treasury yield down five basis points to 4.31%.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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