July 5 - Better-than-expected U.S. job gains in June were led by jumps in hiring in the retail and finance sectors. Fred Katayama reports.
The U.S. economy pumped out a lot more jobs than expected in June - some 195,000. And the government upwardly revised April and May's jobs figures by 70,000. The upward trend in jobs makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will begin scaling back its huge bond purchases in September. The jobless rate held steady at 7.6 - but for a positive reason: more people joined the labor force in the search for jobs - a sign of confidence in the jobs market. Charles Schwab's fixed income strategist Kathy Jones said the jobs report was a "very healthy number, especially with the increase in the upward revision to the previous couple of months that brings the average rate up in the 190s. We've got a higher plateau now, which is good ... it's a sign we're making progress." Positive signs were nearly across the board - especially on the consumer front. Weekly hourly earnings rose by the most since November, and that means consumers will have more money to spend. Consumer-related areas such as retail and wholesale trade gained jobs. Among the few bucking the trend: further job losses in manufacturing and government. The jobs report lifted the dollar against the yen and euro, and bond yields shot higher.