Unemployment is low, manufacturing is growing and wages are rising: It’s a pretty good moment for the job market.
The Labor Department publishes the June jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
Here are four things to know before it comes out.
1. June could be another solid month: Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predict the economy gained 172,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate remained at 4.3%, its lowest since 2001. American wages are expected to rise 2.6% compared with a year ago. That’s better than in prior years but still well below the Federal Reserve’s goal of 3.5% wage growth.
2. Manufacturing is doing well: The country has added 55,000 factory jobs this year. That’s the biggest gain between January and May since 2014. The manufacturing index known as ISM also hit its highest mark in June in nearly three years. A weak U.S. dollar and rebounding global growth have helped boost American manufacturing this year.
3. But overall, job gains are starting to slow: The U.S. economy has added jobs for 80 consecutive months, one of the longest streaks on record. June is expected to be the 81st month of gains, but the streak can’t last forever. Economists say job gains should slow as unemployment continues to fall. Consider this: In 2015, the U.S. added 200,000 or more jobs a month nine times. Last year, it happened five times. So far this year it’s occurred twice.
4. Unemployment is very low: The Great Recession may feel like a long time ago. Unemployment peaked at 10%. It’s come all the way down to 4.3%. Many economists believe the country is at or near “full employment,” meaning there aren’t many more available and skilled workers waiting for a job.