U.S. economy expanded with 223,000 new jobs in June

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 am

The U.S. economy created 223,000 new jobs in June, adding to the mounting evidence pointing toward economic growth in the second half of the year.

The national unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since April 2008.
The economy has produced at least 200,000 jobs in 13 of the last 15 months and the gains in hiring have been widespread. Most industries added jobs in June. Professional companies added 64,000 mostly white-collar workers, the health industry hired 40,000 workers, retailers increased staff by 33,000, restaurants created 30,000 jobs and financial companies added 20,000 employees.

The U.S. economy is forecast to expand at a 2.9 percent annual pace in the second quarter.
The momentum is being felt locally, as 16 of the 22 available southeastern Wisconsin business activity indicators registered improvement in May, according to the monthly report by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).

May’s 16 improvements matches the number of upward pointing indicators posted in April.

“Currently the metro area’s economic environment is marked by a solid majority of
indicators in aggregate pointing upward, led largely by an improving job situation,” said
Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director. “In addition, local housing and
real estate indicators have been contributing to this growth trend over the past nine

Among the highlights of the MMAC report:

* Year-over-year job gains continued in May but at a slower rate. Nonfarm employment in the metro area rose at a 0.7 percent pace, smaller than the revised 1.1 percent job increase recorded in April (vs. April, 2014).
* Six of ten major industry sectors registered May year-over-year job increases. The education & health services sector posted the largest gain – up 2.9 percent. Conversely, three of ten major sectors recorded employment declines with the largest falling in the information sector (down 2.1 percent). Jobs in construction, mining and natural resources were unchanged from one year ago.
* Existing home sales in the metro area rose 14.3 percent in May (vs. May, 2014), this indicator’s third consecutive double-digit increase and its eighth year-over-year increase in nine months.
* The number of unemployed in the metro area averaged 42,200 in May, a 13 percent decline from one year ago – this indicator’s 19th consecutive month of year-over-year decline (since November, 2013). New unemployment compensation claims were unavailable at the time of this report. Metro Milwaukee’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate averaged 5.2 percent in May, down 0.7 percentage points from one year ago. Metro Milwaukee’s rate ranks higher than the 4.7 percent rate posted statewide but slightly below the nation’s 5.3 percent figure.
* For the fourth consecutive month, both area housing and real estate indicators tracked by the MMAC posted year-over-year gains. Existing home sales for the metro area rose 14.3 percent in May, to 1,532. May’s rise marks this indicator’s eighth increase in nine months and its third consecutive double-digit gain. Mortgages recorded in Milwaukee County increased at a 7.5 percent rate (to 2,145), following April’s 37.9 percent rise (vs. April, 2014).
* New-car registrations rose at a 2.6 percent pace in May (to 3,292) coming on the heels of the 9 percent decline posted in April (vs. April, 2014).
* Air passengers using Mitchell International Airport fell for the eighth time in nine months, down 3 percent in May to 555,810 passengers.

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