The U.S. added 209,000 jobs in June, slightly missing expectations for 230,000 and down from a downwardly revised 306,000 in May, according to the monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). May's job gain was originally reported as 339,000.
The unemployment rate dipped to 3.6% in June versus 3.7% in May and against expectations for 3.7%.
The price of bitcoin (BTC) rose modestly to $30,250 in the immediate aftermath of the report's release.
The news comes about 24 hours after the ADP's blowout jobs report for June – 497,000 jobs added versus 220,000 expected – sent interest rates sharply higher and bitcoin tumbling about $1,000, or more than 3%.
Though only a small headline miss, this morning's employment report is notable for breaking an unprecedented streak of 14 consecutive months of topping expectations.
Digging further into the report details, the labor force participation rate held steady for the fourth straight month at 62.6%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4% in June, topping estimates for 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, average hourly earnings were higher by 4.4%, steady from May but ahead of estimates for 4.2%.
In addition to the 33,000 downward revision to May's job gains, April's job adds were revised lower by 77,000 to 217,000. In total, revisions subtracted 110,000 jobs from the April and May reports.
While there's plenty of economic data still to come in July, today's release marks the last national employment report before the Federal Reserve's late July interest rate policy meeting. Prior to these latest numbers, markets were pricing in a near-certainty of the central bank resuming rate hikes at that meeting.
The rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has fallen from a peak of 9.1% in 2022 to the current 4.0%, but it remains well above the Fed's 2% target. Additionally, core CPI – which strips out volatile food and energy costs – has been more stubborn, with the current rate of 5.3% down far more modestly from its peak of 6.6% last year.
The central bank has made clear its belief that a more sluggish employment picture is necessary for bringing inflation under control, but to this point the jobs picture has remained strong. Whether today's softer payroll numbers is the beginning of a trend remains to be seen.
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