Fed interest rate hikes likelier after US adds solid 209K jobs in June 

U.S. employers pulled back on hiring but still delivered another month of solid gains in June, adding 209,000 jobs, a sign that the economy’s resilience is confounding the Federal Reserve’s drive to slow growth and inflation, the Associated Press reports.

The latest evidence of economic strength makes it all but certain that the Fed will resume its interest rate hikes later this month after having ended a streak of 10 rate increases intended to slow inflation.

The June hiring figure reported by the government this morning is below the levels recorded in recent months, but it still points to a durable labor market that also features a historically high number of advertised openings. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6% from 3.7% and is near a five-decade low.

The number of unemployed persons, at 6 million, changed little in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The same was true for the number of long-term unemployed — jobless for 27 weeks or more — at 1.1 million.

The economy is beset by high interest rates, elevated inflation, and nagging worries about a recession resulting from the Fed’s ever-higher interest rates, yet many industries are still adding jobs to keep up with consumer demand and restore their workforces to pre-pandemic levels.

The solid pace of hiring and rising wages has enabled consumers to keep spending on services, from traveling to dining out to attending entertainment events. While economists repeatedly forecast a recession for later this year or next year, one is unlikely if companies keep steadily filling jobs.

The full government report is available online.