The United States added 850,000 jobs in June, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department, as reopenings and vaccinations continue to boost hiring.
Most experts were expecting a gain of 720,000 jobs in June, according to Goldman Sachs, up from a gain of 559,000 in May.
Most of the gains last month came from the leisure and hospitality, education, retail and service industries, the Labor Department said—industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic.
“The reopening of the economy, bolstered by the successful vaccination effort, is helping to put people back to work,” says Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick.
The unemployment rate, however, ticked up slightly, from 5.8% in May to 5.9% in June.
9.5 million. That’s how many people were unemployed in the United States in June, according to Friday’s data, up from 9.3 million in May but down from 9.8 million in April.
Hawaii is the only state in the country that has yet to fully reopen.
Friday’s encouraging labor market data comes as policymakers in Washington keep a close eye on inflation—some have suggested that overly generous government unemployment benefits (including a $300 weekly unemployment supplement) might actually hurt the recovery and cause dangerous overheating. More than half of states have announced an early termination of that $300 supplement. Last month, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates at near-zero levels but members of the central bank’s committee signaled that they are looking ahead to two interest rate hikes by the end of 2023.