U.S. employers added a robust 222,000 jobs in June, the most in four months, a reassuring sign that businesses may be confident enough to keep hiring despite a slow-growing economy.The government also revised up its estimate of job growth for April and May by a combined 47,000. Hiring has averaged nearly 180,000 jobs a month this year, only slightly below last year's pace. The unemployment rate for June ticked up to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent in May, a 16-year low. The jobless rate rose because more Americans began looking for work and not all of them found it.
Friday's jobs report from the government suggested that after eight years of a grinding but resilient recovery, companies still have room to hire at a healthy pace. Though the rate of job growth has slowed since 2014 and 2015, it's still enough to draw in people who had previously stopped looking for work. The proportion of adults with jobs has reached 60.1 percent, just below April's figure, which was the highest since the recession ended in 2009.
The steadfast hiring could benefit President Donald Trump. Economists have raised concern that growth under Trump could begin to falter as the economic recovery enters its ninth year — the third-longest since World War II. So far, the job market and economy look broadly the same as they did last year, though Trump has boasted that his policies are accelerating hiring and growth.
Even with June's strong hiring, average hourly pay rose just 2.5 percent from a year earlier, below the 3.5 percent typical of a healthy economy. Employers in many industries remain reluctant to raise pay.