by Josh Boak | AP July 6 at 3:08 a.m.
WASHINGTON – Employers in the United States are believed to have maintained their hiring pace in June, reflecting the durability of the second largest economic expansion in the United States recorded even in the face of a trade war with China .
Economists have estimated that 195,000 jobs were added last month and the unemployment rate remained at an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, according to data provider FactSet. However, if the unemployment rate reached 3.7 percent or less in June, it would mark its lowest level since December 1969, when it was 3.5 percent.
The monthly employment report of the Department of Labor will be published at 8:30 a.m. M. Friday.
The US economy UU Broader seems to be on firm ground. Economists predict that economic growth accelerated at an annual rate of about 4 percent during the April-June quarter, almost double the previous quarter.
Signs of economic strength have helped boost hiring despite the difficulty many employers say they have in finding enough skilled workers to fill jobs.
The manufacturers and services firms have said in recent surveys that their business is improving despite the anxiety over the tariff confrontation between the United States and China. Home starts have increased 11 percent so far this year. Retail sales rose a strong 0.8 percent in May in a sign that consumers feel safe enough to spend.
But although economic growth seems solid, the gains have been unevenly distributed. President Donald Trump's tax cuts have provided a dose of encouragement this year, although he has leaned significantly toward wealthy individuals and corporations. Savings from tax reductions allowed companies in the Standard & Poor & # 39; s Stock Index to buy back a record number of shares in the first three months of 2018.
However, tax cuts have done little to generate substantial wage growth. After adjusting for inflation, the Labor Department reported last month that wages have been essentially stable over the past year. Still, economists say they think the low unemployment rate will eventually force more employers to offer a higher salary to fill jobs.
The economy also faces a wild card in the tariffs imposed on China. On Friday, the Trump administration starts charging $ 34 billion of Chinese imports at a rate of 25 percent. China has promised retaliatory tariffs of the same magnitude. Any escalation in the commercial conflict could interrupt the hiring, since the companies have to deal with higher prices.
Nor is the commercial confrontation with China an isolated skirmish. The Trump administration has applied tariffs on steel and aluminum from allies such as Canada and Mexico and has threatened to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement with those two countries. Trump has also talked about tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, which General Motors warned could hurt the US auto industry. UU And increase the prices of cars.
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