There can be no question that the United States employment data for June, released on a rare “Jobs Thursday” thanks to the Independence Day holiday, is good news.
The 288,000 jobs that employers added to their payrolls last month was far better than the 215,000 economists had projected. Over the past year employers have added 2.495 million jobs, the most in eight years. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, its lowest level since September 2008, the month Lehman Brothers imploded and the economic catastrophe of the global financial crisis began.
325,000 fewer people were unemployed and 407,000 more people had jobs — not because people just dropped out of the labor market. Revisions to April and May numbers were positive. Perhaps the best news was on worker pay: The index of weekly payrolls for private-sector workers rose a nice 0.4 percent, reflecting both a longer workweek and higher hourly pay.
And these numbers are great for stocks too. The Dow Industrial Average hit a record today at 17,000 and the S&P ose 0.4 percent to a record 1,982.98.
For those candidates ready to make a career change, now is the time to brush off the resume and start shopping around. For those in stable positions with room for growth, this is an ideal time to leverage yourself for a promotion. In addition, this is a great time to clean up your on-line presence and create a profile that allows those aggressive recruiters to find you, the passive candidate. This can be a time of opportunity, in both the labor market and your personal job growth. Take advantage of this upswing and position yourself for the next year or 10 years.