Economy Watch: The Economy Creates 195k Jobs in June

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy created 195,000 jobs in June, a bit more than the average increase for the last 12 months, which is 182,000.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the U.S. economy created 195,000 jobs in June, a bit more than the average increase for the last 12 months, which is 182,000. The increase was fairly broad-based: Employment rose in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, health care and financial activities. The unemployment rate didn’t move any during June, staying at 7.6 percent.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that for the week ending June 29, initial unemployment claims were 343,000, a drop of 5,000 from the previous week. The more stable four-week moving average was 345,500, a decrease of 750 from the previous week.

Also on Thursday, Automated Data Processing reported its estimate for private job creation, which came in at 188,000 for June. The company revised its May estimate downward to 134,000 from 135,000. Typically ADP hasn’t been in synch with the official numbers, though in the case they were fairly close.

Another positive housing indicator

The latest in the parade of positive housing numbers: Trulia reported on Wednesday that nationally, asking home prices rose 10.7 percent year-over-year in June. Even excluding foreclosures, prices jumped 11.4 percent since last year, meaning that the current rise isn’t being driven by the shift away from foreclosed homes for sale. But the company predicts that asking prices will eventually slow down as mortgage rates rise, inventory expands, and investor demand falls.

The turnaround has been uneven. Prices first rebounded two years ago in San Jose, Phoenix, Denver, Miami and a few other markets in which job growth or bargain buying started boosting prices earlier. Meanwhile, prices continued to fall in several East Coast and Midwest markets until three to six months ago. Now with the housing recovery in full swing, asking prices rose in 99 of the 100 largest metros, Trulia said.

“Rising home prices have swept the country,” Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, noted in a press statement. “Local markets that suffered most during the housing crisis are seeing the biggest price rebounds today. Now even markets that escaped the worst of the bust, like Chicago and Baltimore, are seeing prices climb. However, these runaway price gains won’t last: both rising mortgage rates and slowly growing inventories should start tapping the brakes on home prices.”

On Thursday, ahead of the Independence Day holiday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 56.14 points, or 0.38 percent. The S&P 500 gained 0.08 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.3 percent.

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