Employers added 850,000 jobs in June as hiring revs up

Hiring surged in June with employers adding a better-than-expected 850,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday — the latest sign that the economy is rebounding from the pandemic recession.

The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9%.

Leisure and hospitality led the hiring increase, with a jump of 343,000 jobs from last month as traffic at restaurants grew. Education added almost 270,000 jobs. Employment also rose in retail trade, personal and laundry services, child care centers and professional and business services.

“The acceleration in employment growth was driven by the sectors most closely affected by the continued return to normalcy,” Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note.

Nonetheless, the labor participation rate was unchanged, indicating workers may not be flooding back to the office or factory at the rate businesses had hoped. The ranks of people who have been jobless for more than half a year grew to nearly 4 million, a bump of more than 200,000 people compared with May.

“While a combination of labor supply constraints – including the virus fear, unemployment benefits, childcare issues and early retirements – is still constraining employment, these headwinds should gradually ease in the coming months,” economists at Oxford Economics said in a note..

This is a developing story.