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Labor Department Says U.S. Employers Added 224,000 Jobs In June

Jul 5, 2019
Originally published on July 5, 2019 7:36 pm
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

After a series of mixed signals about the strength of the U.S. economy, the job market offered a big thumbs-up today. According to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added 224,000 jobs last month. NPR's Scott Horsley reports that is more than three times the number of jobs added the month before.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: The better-than-expected jobs report suggests that economic expansion, which is already the longest on record, still has a ways to run. President Trump cheered the big jobs numbers as he prepared to board his helicopter for a long holiday weekend in New Jersey.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Those were really, unexpectedly good, and our country continues to do really well.

HORSLEY: Notable within the report are solid job gains in manufacturing and transportation, two sectors that are highly susceptible to trade disruptions and which had been flat or down in previous months. On average, the economy's been adding about 172,000 jobs a month this year; that's down from last year's pace of 223,000, but chief economist Sarah House of Wells Fargo Securities says the job market remains resilient amid tariff battles and other challenges.

SARAH HOUSE: We're still looking for this economy to continue to expand. And even with some of these headwinds, we think overall the economy remains in pretty good shape.

HORSLEY: After the blockbuster jobs report, the Federal Reserve may feel less pressure to cut interest rates, but President Trump is still beating that drum. Trump says the strong economy could be even stronger if already-low interest rates were cut further.

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TRUMP: We're going to be breaking records. If we had a Fed that would lower interest rates, we'd be like a rocket ship. But we're paying a lot of interest, and it's unnecessary. But we don't have a Fed that knows what they're doing, so it's one of those little things.

HORSLEY: The stock market dropped this morning amid worries the Fed would not cut interest rates. But as the day wore on, investors seemed to reconsider, and by the closing bell, stocks had made up much of the lost ground.

Scott Horsley, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.