WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers sharply stepped up their hiring in June, adding a robust 224,000 jobs, an indication of the economy’s durability after more than a decade of expansion.
The strength of the jobs report the government issued Friday could complicate a decision for the Federal Reserve late this month on whether to cut interest rates to help support the economy. Most investors have anticipated a rate cut in July and perhaps one or two additional Fed cuts later in the year. That scenario may be less likely now.
Stocks sold off Friday morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down roughly 150 points, reflecting a view that the Fed might engage in fewer rate hikes. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbed to 2.06% from just under 2%.
June’s solid job growth followed a tepid gain of 72,000 jobs in May, a result that had fueled concerns about the economy. But with June’s pace of hiring, employers have now added, on average, a solid 171,000 jobs for the past three months. Last month’s burst of hiring suggests that many employers have shrugged off concerns about weaker global growth, President Donald Trump’s trade wars and the waning benefits from U.S. tax cuts.
Overall, though, employers have been adding jobs faster than new workers are flowing into the economy. That suggests that the unemployment rate will remain near its five-decade low and that the economy will keep growing, even if only modestly.