By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON, Jul 2 (.) – Job growth in the United States accelerated in June after companies, desperate to boost production and services amid booming demand, raised wages and offered incentives to attract workers. millions of unemployed reluctant to return to the workforce.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 850,000 jobs last month after rising 583,000 positions in May, the Labor Department said in its employment report issued Friday. The unemployment rate rose to 5.9% from 5.8% in May.
The unemployment rate has been underestimated by people who mistakenly describe themselves as “employed but absent from work.” There is a record 9.3 million job openings. Economists polled by . had forecast that payrolls would rise by 700,000 positions last month and that the unemployment rate would drop to 5.7%.
Average hourly wages rose 0.3% last month after rising 0.4% in May. This figure raised the year-on-year rise in salaries to 3.6% from 1.9% in May.
The report suggests that the economy closed the second quarter with a strong boost in activity, after vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 made it possible to reopen many sectors.
More than 150 million people are fully immunized, leading to pandemic-related restrictions on businesses being lifted and mask-wearing mandates removed.
Politicians, businesses and some economists have blamed generous unemployment benefits, including a weekly $ 300 check from the government, for the labor crisis. The lack of affordable childcare services and fear of contracting the coronavirus have also kept many workers, mostly women, confined to their homes.
Additionally, there have been retirements related to the pandemic, as well as career changes. Economists mostly expect the shrinking labor supply to decline in the fall, when schools reopen and additional unemployment benefits expire, but warn that many unemployed will likely never go back to work.
In another data published on Friday, the Commerce Department indicated that the country’s trade deficit in May expanded 3.039%, with a negative balance of 71.2 billion dollars, a figure slightly better than expected by the market.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)