In June, payroll employment grew by 287,000 jobs—an welcome boost after the weakness of the last two months. The June jobs report is the kind we want to see more of. 287,000 jobs a month moves the recovery forward, not only pulling in the growing working age population, but also chipping away at remaining slack
That said, we are still far from full employment. At 77.8 percent, the prime-age employment-to-population ratio is still far below its last peak, and indeed is still below the lowest trough of the last two full business cycles. And, at 2.6 percent, year-over-year nominal wage growth remains below levels consistent with Fed targets for inflation and trend productivity growth. The unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent, which is consistent with other measures of labor market slack.
Overall, today’s report is a good sign but it is clear that there’s still a fair amount of weakness to account for.