Great jobs report: Strong hiring, unemployment down
CNN — NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The American jobs recovery seems to have finally hit its stride.
The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.
That number beats economists' expectations and comes along with other good news: Job growth was revised higher for both May and April.
Taken altogether, that means employers added 1.4 million jobs in the first six months of the year.
That's the strongest six months for job growth since 2006.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is now 6.1%, down from 6.3% in May. The drop came for the right reasons: More Americans said they had jobs, plus more people joined the labor force.
Another encouraging sign: pay is on the rise. Hourly wages ticked up 0.2% in June and are up 2% in the past 12 months.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said she wants to see wages rising faster than inflation. If average Americans see their buying power rise, that could boost consumer spending -- the single biggest driver of the U.S. economy.
Over the past year, 2.3 million Americans have found jobs. Unemployment is down for many ages and races, although teens are still struggling with a 21% jobless rate.
Investors welcomed Thursday's jobs report, sending the Dow over 17,000 for the first time ever. The bond market also reacted strongly. Yields on the benchmark 10 Year Treasury rose after the report came out, another sign that the market thinks the economy is improving.
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