In the U.S., job growth continues as the Wall Street Journal notes a nine-year economic expansion. But a paradox continues: jobs are being created even as wage growth remains somewhat stagnant.
The latest job count, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s June 2017 numbers, came in at 220,000 additions. This handily beat expectations for a gain of 179,000 jobs. According to Reuters, job gains were concentrated in the healthcare and professional services sectors.
Unemployment rates sit at 4.4. percent, up from May, as the Department of Labor stated more people are “actively” seeking work. The latest tally means the domestic economy has added jobs every single month over the past 81 months, a trend that has “slowly repaired much of the damage” wrought by the financial crisis, said the WSJ.
Average hourly earnings logged for private sector workers rose, up 2.5 percent in June compared to a year ago. But that is a slowing growth rate following a 2.9 percent peak in December — and “tepid” compared to the three percent growth rate before the crisis and the more-than-three percent rates in years following previous recessions.
Currently, inflation is relatively low at less than one percent. Should wage growth get a boost, it would add to Federal Reserve pressure to raise inflation rates again. This would spur a balancing act in which higher costs to firms may, in fact, lead to higher prices for consumers.