>> Hiring getting a significant boost in June with even the beleaguered retail sector adding jobs last month, retailers seeing net job gains for the first time since January. According to a report released by the Labor Department Friday, US employers added 222,000 jobs in June, topping the monthly average for this year and last.
>> I'm Conway Gittens in New York, besides the surprise gain in retail, hiring also picked up in health and social services, construction, and government. Although the gains in hiring were spread across many parts of the economy, there was one group that was left out. With auto sales slowing down, car companies are cutting back on workers, this is the third straight month that this group has seen job losses.
That may be one factor pushing up the unemployment rate to 4.4% in June. June's job report, though, was better than expected, and that is fueling hopes the economy is heading into a strong second half of the year, even though wage gains are still subdued. Average hourly earnings up just $0.04 last month, but that's not expected to stop the Federal Reserve from hiking interest rates at least one more time this year.
The question is whether that will happen in September, or will the Fed wait until December?