Americans Lured Off Job Sidelines May Also Limit Pay Gains

The U.S. labor market was robust enough last month to draw more Americans off the sidelines and into the workforce. The same trend may also be keeping wage gains subdued.

While payrolls grew by more than analysts forecast and the unemployment rate barely ticked up from a 16-year low, worker pay rose a less-than-expected 2.5 percent in June from a year earlier. Separate figures on labor flows showed a record number of people found employment after joining the workforce, helping push up the participation rate.

The entry of so many people is a sign that the labor market is still absorbing slack, supporting the views of both President Donald Trump — who has talked about the need to get millions of Americans into jobs — and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who has mentioned the pool of those who could still find work.

Highlights of Employment (June)

Payrolls

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