Economy Watch: Employment Surges in June

The U.S. economy was in a strong job-creating mode in June.

The U.S. economy was in a strong job-creating mode in June, with the addition of a net 287,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. Job growth occurred in a variety of sectors that affect demand for office and other real estate space, including business services, financial activities and information, though in the latter case, growth partly reflecting the end of the Verizon strike.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in June, gaining 38,000 jobs. So far this year, the industry has added an average of 30,000 jobs per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 52,000 in 2015, generating demand for office space in some markets.

Employment in retail trade edged up by 30,000 in June, after changing little over the previous two months. In June, job gains occurred in general merchandise stores (up 9,000) and in health and personal care stores (up 5,000). Retail trade has added 313,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

Food services and drinking place employment was up by 22,000. Gains in that sector have averaged 27,000 per month so far this year, down from an average of 37,000 in 2015, reflecting slower job growth in food services and drinking places.

Health care added 39,000 jobs over the month. Job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (up 19,000) and hospitals (up 15,000), were roughly in line with average monthly gains over the previous 12 months in each industry.

The unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 percent in June, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 347,000 to 7.8 million. These increases reflect the fact that more people were looking for work in June than in May, which points to an upward bounce in the strength of the economy.