Employers Added 213,000 Jobs in June, Unemployment Rises

A recruiter in the shale gas industry, left, speaks with an attendee of a job fair in Cheswick, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(CN) – Employers across the United States added a solid 213,000 jobs in June, but the unemployment rate nevertheless rose for the month, to 4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

The report comes on the same day that the Trump administration began imposing tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports and China retaliated with their own tariffs.

The government found job growth occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care, while retail trade lost jobs.

In addition to showing the job market remains strong, Friday’s report shows that the unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent from 3.8 percent as more people began looking for work.

That reflects an increase of 499,000  in the number saying they are unemployed to 6.6 million.

Average hourly pay rose just 2.7 percent from a year earlier.

In other economic news,  the Commerce Department said Friday that the U.S. trade deficit dropped in May to the lowest level in 19 months as U.S. exports rose to a record level.

But the trade gap between the United States and China increased sharply, underscoring the economic tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

The government said the May trade deficit — the difference between what America sells and what it buys in foreign markets — fell 6.6 percent to $43.1 billion. It was the smallest imbalance since October 2016.

Exports climbed 1.9 percent to a record $215.3 billion. Imports were up a smaller 0.4 percent to $258.4 billion.

For May, the America’s deficit in goods with China rose 18.7 percent to $33.2 billion. So far this year the deficit totals $152.2 billion, up 9.9 perce4nt from the same period a year ago. As has been the case for decades, America’s deficit with China is the largest imbalance with any country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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