WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The job growth suggests a stronger economy and makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will slow its bond purchases before year's end.
The unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent. That was because more people started looking for work in June — a healthy sign. People without a job aren't counted as unemployed unless they're looking for one.
Hiring "continues to look more than strong enough to keep unemployment trending down ... and probably more than strong enough to lead to Fed tapering starting in September," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
The Fed's bond purchases have kept borrowing rates low to encourage borrowing and spending. A pullback in its bond buying would likely send rates up.
Pay rose sharply last month, the Labor Department's monthly jobs report Friday showed. Pay has now outpaced inflation over the past year.