The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation report for June. Total payrolls expanded by 195,000, with the private sector adding 202,000 and government subtracting 7,000. The previous two months were revised up by a total of 70,000. Homebuilding payrolls expanded by 5,200.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.6%. The labor force expanded by 177,000 and the number of persons employ grew by 160,000.
The Federal Reserve has begun the discussion about the end of bond purchases (QE3). Chairman Ben Bernanke’s congressional testimony and post-FOMC meeting press conference have sent the interest rate on 10-year Treasury securities up almost a full percentage point in May and June. Analysts will be viewing every economic data release through the prism of implications for monetary policy.
Any good news suggests the economy is healthy enough to improve without additional stimulus and increases the odds of an early end to QE3. Any bad news suggests the economy needs more help and pushes the beginning of the end of QE3 further into the future.
Three months of payroll employment growth in the neighborhood of 200,000 is pretty good news. We’ll see how good it looks when the second quarter GDP numbers are released in late July.