U.S. employers added 222,000 positions in June, which was above many analysts' expectations. Revised numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that 47,000 more jobs were added in April and May than previously reported. That brings the total number of jobs created during the first half of 2017 to nearly 1.1 million, with job gains averaging about 180,000 per month since the start of the year.
Healthcare, professional and business services, and financial services were among the industries showing the most job growth last month.
The unemployment rate rose slightly in June to 4.4 percent, according to the BLS. That’s still near a 16-year low. Workers with specialized skills are in particularly short supply. The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers 25 and older was just 2.4 percent in June. And the unemployment rate for some jobs is minuscule — just 1.1 percent for computer programmers, for instance, and 2.1 percent for payroll clerks.
The BLS also recently released the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for April. According to the report, there were 6 million job openings in the United States at the end of April, a record high.
Here’s what these numbers mean: Companies are in hiring mode at a time when job candidates — especially those at higher skill and experience levels — are becoming harder to find. If your firm is looking to add staff, you’re not alone. And the professionals you’re hoping to attract are the same handful of job seekers other organizations are likely targeting as well.