The U.S. Labor Department reported that payrolls increased by 195,000 workers for the second month in a row. Today gold prices are plummeting again today after the positive jobs report. A consensus of economists polled by Bloomberg indicates a projected increase of 165,000 jobs for June, so the actual report came out well ahead of expectations.

Jobs

Jobs By The Numbers

In addition to the increased number of payrolls, hourly earnings for the year ending in June increased by the highest amount in almost two years. They rose by 10 cents or .4 percent to $24.01 per hour. The average work week remained the same at 34.5 hours.

The unemployment rate for the month remained the same at 7.6 percent, which is close to a four-year low, and the size of the labor force rose by 177,000, an increase of 63.5 percent. However, the U6 unemployment rate, which covers those who are only able to find part time work or who have become too discouraged to keep looking for a job, rose 14.3 percent, compared to a 13.8 percent increase previously.

The largest hiring gains were seen in the hospitality industry at hotels, restaurants and bars. Professional services, retail and health care also added more jobs, although government employment and manufacturing cut jobs.

Revising May And April Jobs Numbers Higher

The Labor Department also revised its May and April employment gains much higher today, adding 70,000 more jobs than the amount of jobs that were reported previously. May’s new jobs report was increased to 195,000 from 175,000, and April’s report was revised upward to 199,000 from $149,000.

Over the last three months, there have been an average of 196,333 jobs added each month, reports Reuters’ Lucia Mutikani. That number is inching ever so closer to the 200,000 jobs the Federal Reserve is said to be seeking.

Will The Fed Start Tapering?

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said recently that they would begin tapering the government’s $85 billion a month bond buying program when the U.S. economy shows signs of recovery, and today’s report is heading in that direction. The program is aimed at keeping the cost of borrowing down and pushing the economy to grow.

Bond and stock markets around the globe have been falling recently as investors look toward the beginning of the Fed’s efforts to taper its bond buying program. Gold prices have also dropped off sharply last month, although they recovered slightly later. Economists estimate that the Fed could start tapering in September and end the program entirely by next June. It’s expected that the first step of the tapering process will be decreasing the amount purchased monthly by $20 billion.