WASHINGTON — Employers added a better-than-expected 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate tumbled to 6.1 percent, the government said Thursday in a firecracker of a jobs report.
Most mainstream economists had expected job growth in the 200,000 range , so the strong showing in June was far above expectations and puts to rest any doubts that the economy’s 2.9% contraction from January to March was a fluke.
The 6.1 percent unemployment rate for June is the lowest since September 2008, the month the financial crisis exploded and sparked global turmoil and recession.
The spark in hiring last month was across sectors and some that had struggled, such as retail, were up sharply. Retailers added more than 40,000 jobs in June.
The jobs report comes on the heels of other positive reports, including the continued scorching sales of automobiles. Together it all points to a recovery maintaining ground and accelerating.