At this point a month ago, Americans were confronted with the worst jobs report since the end of the Great Recession. The question was obvious: were the numbers an outlier or the start of a serious downturn in the U.S. job market?
This morning that question was answered in a rather emphatic way. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the U.S. economy added 287,000 jobs in June, making it the strongest month for job creation so far this year and the best overall since October 2015. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 4.9%, but that’s not necessarily bad news: more people entered the job market last month, which affects the broader rate.
For the first time in over eight years, we’ve been at or below 5% unemployment for nine consecutive months. What’s more, the dramatic rebound from May to June represents the largest one-month shift in employment since before the recession began.
As for the revisions: April’s job totals were revised up, from 123,000 to 144,000, while May’s were revised down, from 38,000 to an even more woeful 11,000. Combined, that’s a modest loss of 6,000.
Over the last 12 months, the overall economy has created 2.45 million new jobs, which is a pretty healthy number, and if the current pace keeps up, we’re on track to create more than 2 million jobs in 2016, despite May’s dreadful totals. What’s more, June was the 69th consecutive month of positive job growth, which is the longest on record.
Above you’ll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction – red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Update: Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
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U.S. job market bounces back in a big way