The New York Times reports that the latest jobs numbers add to a string of encouraging economic reports. Many estimates for growth in the second quarter are bouncing above 4 percent. The manufacturing sector buzzed with activity last month, and spending on construction rose. New jobless claims are dragging along at historically low levels. And many consumers displayed their confidence in the economy by kicking off the summer with a new car purchase.
213,000 jobs were added last month. Economists had expected a gain of about 200,000.
“The trends are strong,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief economist of High Frequency Economics. Over the past year, average monthly payroll gains have hovered around 200,000, and hiring has been running ahead of growth in the labor force.
As the jobless rate falls, employers’ complaints about their inability to find qualified, reliable workers mount.
“There’s more jobs than there are people available for jobs — at every level,” said Joe Galvin, chief research officer of Vistage, an association of small-business owners and executives. In a Vistage survey last month, an overwhelming share of employers spoke of their frustration in finding people to fill openings on the factory floor and in the executive suite, Mr. Galvin said.
To retain workers as well as attract new ones, employers say they are increasing pay, sweetening benefits packages and trying to create an appealing work culture.