By Isaac Cohen*
In the middle of the uncertainty caused by the decision in the UK to leave the European Union, job creation in the United States defied predictions and pulled out of the weak performance of the previous two months. In June, 287,000 new non agricultural jobs were created, while the unemployment rate climbed to 4.9 percent, from 4.7 percent in May, for the very good reason that more persons were looking for jobs. Average hourly earnings also increased in June, by 0.1 percent, for a yearly increase of 2.3 percent.
The services sector registered the strongest hiring, with 256,000 new jobs created in June. Still, job creation is decelerating, because the monthly average for this year’s second quarter was 147,000, far less than the same monthly average of 229,000 in 2015.
It remains to be seen how the central bank will perceive the labor market rebound, which will be announced at the conclusion of the next meeting on July 27. The weak job creation of the previous quarter, according to the minutes of the June meeting, led the Open Market Committee to unanimously postpone an interest rate increase. Now that UK voters decided to leave the European Union, some uncertainty remains in world markets, with investors still seeking refuge in the US dollar, which slows down US exports and restrains inflation.
*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC.