Jobs in the U.S. rose by 850,000 in June, above the consensus estimate for a gain of 706,000, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The main question now for markets and economists is whether the positive June report could encourage the Federal Reserve to taper its monthly asset purchases – a form of monetary stimulus – more quickly. There's a raging debate over the matter currently ongoing within the central bank over whether the U.S. central bank needs to throttle back from the stimulus as the economy accelerates out of the pandemic, to keep inflation from getting too hot.
Bitcoin prices have risen over the past year as many investors bet that the cryptocurrency could work as a hedge against inflation. Assuming the tapering starts sooner, bitcoiners would no longer be able to count on the Fed bringing more liquidity to the markets through quantitative easing and giving investors the liquidity to invest more in riskier assets.
The early take was that the jobs report wasn't strong enough to change the Fed's trajectory.
"In short, these data shouldn't change anyone's mind," Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for the forecasting firm Pantheon, wrote Friday in a note to clients.
Bitcoin was changing hands Friday around $33,373, down 1% in the past 24 hours and little changed in the hours after the jobs report was published at 8:30 a.m. ET.
According to the Labor Department's jobs report on Friday, the U.S. unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.9% from 5.8% in May.
The government revised the May jobs number to 583,000, up from the initially reported 559,000 jobs (which had missed the then estimate of 671,000 jobs).
On average, since January 2021 the U.S. has added about 500,000 jobs per month, and the employment trend has been strengthening but somewhat unpredictable, making it difficult for economists to use any one month’s data to extrapolate what the future might look like.
The labor force participation rate – the percentage of the American population that is either working or actively looking for work – was unchanged in June from 61.6% in May.
The employment-to-population ratio, or the number of people employed versus the total working-age population, changed little month to month at 58%.
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