Jobs reports may seem like boring things that only financial experts and economists care about, but you might want to pay attention to them too.
That’s because things like how many people are finding work and the unemployment rate really matter to the economy, and can affect everything from the price you pay for food at the grocery store, to how much money you’re likely to make at your next job.
The Department of Labor (DOL) keeps track of job numbers, and issues a report on hiring every month. So you’ll be glad to know that the latest jobs report paints a good picture of the nation’s economic health.
In fact, in June U.S. businesses added 222,000 workers. That was the highest rate of hiring in four months, according to the DOL.
So why is this important?
- Business owners tend to add workers when their sales are strong and they feel good about their prospects.
- We are eight years into a recovery from the financial crisis. The economy is also experiencing one of the longest economic expansions on record. Strong jobs numbers indicate our economic strength continues on.
- As businesses add more workers, that tends to increase wages, or the amount people earn for the jobs they do. And that can be a great thing if you happen to be looking for a new job, because you can potentially ask for a higher salary.
Okay, here’s the tricky part. While businesses have added more workers, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4% in June. That’s because more people who had given up looking for work are seeking jobs again. Still, the unemployment rate is currently at a 15-year low, according to DOL.