Employment increased more than forecast in June, wages picked up and the U.S. jobless rate held close to a four-year low as the world’s largest economy weathered the effect of higher taxes and federal budget cuts.
Payrolls rose by 195,000 workers for a second straight month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey projected a 165,000 gain after a previously reported 175,000 increase in May. The jobless rate stayed at 7.6 percent, while hourly earnings in the year ended in June advanced by the most since July 2011.
Job gains and a rebound in housing are shoring up Americans’ finances and boosting expectations that the economy will gain momentum even after the payroll tax increased and government agencies began to cut spending. Federal Reserve policy makers have said they’ll start to trim bond purchases before the end of the year as unemployment falls.
“The job market’s as good as it was last month,” Drew Matus, deputy U.S. chief economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report. “The labor market is going to continue to be a source of support for the U.S. economy both in terms of income and in terms of consumer willingness to spend.”
Forecasts of the 91 economists surveyed for June payrolls ranged from increases of 77,000 to 220,000. The Labor Department surveys businesses and households for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month.
Revisions to the prior two months’ payrolls reports added a total of 70,000 jobs to the employment count in April and May.
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