U.S. jobs growth picks up in June

The jobs market is heating up.

The Labor Department said Friday the U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs last month. That’s a sharp acceleration in growth from May and a lot higher than economists had forecast.

The surge comes as companies facing higher demand boosted wages and doled out incentives to lure Americans back to work amid a labor shortage.

The unemployment rate, however, ticked up a tenth of a point to 5.9%. While that rate and the number of employed are down sharply from their highs in April last year, they’re still well above their levels prior to the start of the health crisis.

Adding the most jobs in June: the services sector - led by leisure and hospitality, education, professional services, and retail.

The report suggests the reopening made possible by vaccinations has injected momentum into the economy.

Wages grew but at a slower pace than May. That’s not likely to worry Federal Reserve officials. Fed Chair Jerome Powell expects high inflation will be temporary. Wall Street welcomed the report, driving the S&P 500 to another record high at the market open.

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