Economy Adds 209,000 Jobs in June

(Courtesy U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Nonfarm employment increased by 209,000 in June, but the unemployment rate changed little at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni noted job gains slowed in June and estimates of growth were reduced for the prior two months. “Although the unemployment rate dropped a tenth, the household survey did show some signs of a weaker market, with the U-6 increasing,” he said.

Fratantoni said incoming economic data has been filled with conflicting signals. “Manufacturing activity remains quite weak, while consumer spending has held up somewhat better, and new home construction and sales have picked up. Our forecast is for a slowdown in economic activity in the second half of 2023, with a recovery in early 2024. The June employment report reinforces that forecast.”

Fratantoni noted job growth and wage growth are trending down but said both remain well above the pace that would be consistent with the Federal Reserve’s inflation target. “We now expect that the FOMC will raise the federal funds target another 25 basis points at its July meeting,” he said.