The unemployment rate inched up one-tenth of a point to 4.4 percent, as employers added 222,000 jobs in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, although accounting and bookkeeping services lost 300 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Increasing automation may have played a role. Employment in professional and business services overall continued to trend upward in June, however, increasing 35,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, and has grown by 624,000 over the past 12 months. Many of the gains last month on the professional and business services sector came in architectural and engineering, and computer systems design and related services.
Average hourly earnings across the economy rose 4 cents in June to $26.25. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5 percent.
“This new report shows positive gains: job creation came in higher than expected and the labor force grew,” said House Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, in a statement. “While I appreciate these clear signs of improvement, we have a lot more work to do to make it easier for all Americans to earn higher wages, find good-paying jobs, and get ahead.”
He pledged to work on tax reform to create more jobs. “Ways and Means Republicans are also moving forward now on permanent, pro-growth tax reform because it is our single best opportunity to rev up our nation’s economy,” he said in a statement. “Working with President Trump and the Senate, we will deliver bold reforms this year that spur job creation, allow workers to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, and improve the lives of all Americans for generations to come.”
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