The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, much better than expected. That makes it the fifth straight month of gains over 200,000. The last time that happened was in 1999, during the so-called dot-com bubble.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, hitting its lowest point in almost six years. And the drop was for the right reasons–more people found jobs instead of leaving the labor force.
June brings the tally to 1.4 million jobs added for the first six months of the year, and the gains were widespread.
Some of the biggest gains came in business and professional services. We also saw a lot of jobs added in lower-wage sectors, like retail, and food and beverage jobs.
But there was some encouraging news on the pay front. Hourly wages ticked up two-tenths of a percent last month. They are up 2 percent over the past year. That gives workers something to cheer about.
Who else is cheering? Investors. The stock market was up on the news with the dow hitting that 17k milestone.