Stateside Job Growth Tops Expectations

Monthly job growth has returned to the United States, according to figures released Friday.

The U.S. Labor Department said the stateside economy added 224,000 jobs, the best gain since January and running contrary to worries that both the employment picture and overall growth picture were beginning to weaken. The unemployment rate edged up to 3.7% as labour force participation rose.

Economists had expected non-farm payrolls to rise by 165,000 and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.6%. May’s initially-reported growth of 75,000 had raised doubts about the durability of the record-setting expansion that began a decade ago. The May count was revised lower to 72,000

Federal Reserve policymakers have been watching the jobs numbers closely.

Markets had widely anticipated that the central bank would cut its benchmark interest rate later this month, regardless of what the June payrolls count showed.