U.S. job growth surged more than expected in June and employers increased hours for workers, signs of labor market strength that could keep the Federal Reserve on course for a third interest rate increase this year despite benign inflation.
Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 222,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, beating economists’ expectations for a 179,000 gain. Data for April and May was revised show 47,000 jobs created than previously reported.
While the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent from a 16-year low of 4.3 percent, that was because more people were looking for work, a sign of confidence in the labor market. The jobless rate has dropped four-tenths of a percentage point this year and is near the most recent Fed median forecast for 2017.
The average workweek increased to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in May. Labor market buoyancy could also encourage the U.S. central