Employment Rebounds, Lifting Markets

The employment situation in the US improved on Friday as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the economy added 287,000 new jobs in June, well ahead of the consensus estimates of 180,000 and surpassing the high estimate of 235.000.

Keep in mind that this was a first estimate and that these numbers are routinely revised.  The revisions to recent estimates were mixed with the April numbers raised to 144,000, but the already weak May figures were taken down by 11,000.

Even though more jobs were created, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.9 percent from 4.7 percent.  The labor force participation rate rose by one tent of a percent to 62.7 percent.

Other elements of the report weren’t particularly strong as well, including the small increase in hourly earnings and the relatively weak increase in hours worked.

Personally, I found it odd that stocks and bonds were both higher.  It’s as though the stock market focused on the jobs number while the bond market looked at the increase in the unemployment rate and other less robust factors.