The U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June as the labor market heated up after a spring lull.
The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey of households, rose to 5.9% from 5.8%, the Labor Department said Friday, as more Americans joined the labor force.
The increase in jobs was the strongest since last August and exceeded economists’ forecasts. It followed a gain of a slightly revised 583,000 jobs in May and 269,000 in April. Despite the latest gains, the country still has 6.8 million fewer jobs than in February 2020, the month before the pandemic shut down much of the economy.
The industries that created the most jobs last month included leisure and hospitality industries such as restaurants and bars, retailers, and government jobs, including education jobs.
Employers have been raising wages to lure workers back in the labor force. Workers’ average hourly earnings rose 3.6% last month from a year earlier.