(CN) –With the economy marking 10 consecutive years of growth, hiring rebounded strongly last month as employers added 224,000 new jobs.
The number of new positions in June dwarfs the revised 72,000 jobs added the month before, which drove concerns about an economic slowdown. It’s also well above expert predictions of about 170,000 new jobs.
The strong jobs numbers reported by the Labor Department on Friday could complicate the Federal Reserve’s decision later this month on whether to slash interest rates. President Donald Trump has called for a rate cut to boost the economy and some investors expected a cut in July, but it’s unclear if that will happen now.
Stocks reacted to the possibility of interest rates remaining unchanged, as markets opened lower Friday morning.
The unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.7% in June from 3.6% the previous two months, while average wages were up 3.1% from a year ago.
The health care and social assistance industry added 50,500 jobs last month, while transportation and warehouse companies hired 23,900 new workers. Government jobs grew by 33,000 as the construction sector gained 21,000 positions and manufacturing added 17,000.
Job growth in the U.S. has averaged 171,000 new positions a month for the past three months, which is a healthy pace but below last year’s monthly average of 223,000.
July marked a full decade of consecutive growth for the U.S. economy, the longest streak on record. The robust hiring seen in June suggests employers are not very concerned about President Trump’s year-long trade war with China and fading effects from the 2017 tax cuts.
The gross domestic product, a primary indicator of economic health, grew at a 3.1% rate in the first quarter of this year, though economists predict it will slow to 2% or lower for the April-June quarter.