US unemployment rate falls to 6.1% as job growth surges

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US unemployment rate falls to 6.1% as job growth surges

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Encouraging jobs news from the United States as hiring jumped in June and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in nearly six years – 6.1 percent from May’s 6.3 percent.

The employment growth numbers will help dispel fears about the health of the world’s largest economy. They also underscored its momentum heading into the second half of the year.

Employers added 288,000 jobs last month (not including agricultural worker). By far the biggest part of that was in the services industries where payrolls expanded by 236,000.

However, there were job gains across all sectors, with manufacturing hires up for the 11th straight month and construction jobs recording the sixth consecutive month of gains.

This comes one day after reports showing private companies took on the most workers in one and a half years in June, with small business hiring increasing for a ninth month running.

The sturdy pace of job gains will fuel the debate in financial markets as to when the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, could decide to put up interest rates.

The Fed has argued that there is still considerable slack in the US labour force.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has pointed to the low labour force participation, which she says partly reflects the departure of discouraged job seekers who could be enticed back into the workforce.

with Reuters