The U.S. economy posted strong job growth in June, with a net gain of 222,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to hit 4.4 percent.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department shows wages grew 2.5 percent in June from the same period a year earlier. That is just slightly above the rate of inflation, and several analysts called the gain “disappointing.”
Economists say when hiring steps up, employers usually have to raise wages to attract and retain the best workers.Many companies complain they can not get all the technically-skilled workers they need.But so far, overall wages have grown little.
Chief economist for the global information company, IHS, Nariman Behravesh says wage growth will probably pick up over the next year as the economy gains between 150 and 180 thousand jobs a month.
PNC Bank Chief Economist Gus Faucher says employers will raise wages as they find it “more and more difficult to attract qualified workers.”
S&P Global Ratings Economist Satyam Panday says there are six million job openings in the United States, and more training programs could help prepare people to fillthese positions.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department also says the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 4.4 percent. The one-tenth of a percent increase is due to more people, perhaps encouraged by mostly positive economic news, resuming their search for work.
About 7 million Americans are counted as unemployed. Another 1.6 million are not working but are not counted as officially unemployed because they have not sought jobs in the past four weeks.More than 5 million additional people want full-time jobs but can find only part-time employment.June’s job gains were concentrated in health care, business services and restaurants.