WASHINGTON - U.S. job creation surged in June, with a net gain of 287,000 jobs across the world's largest economy.
That is hundreds of thousands more than the prior month and stronger than most economists predicted.
Friday's report from the Department of Labor also showed the unemployment rate at a low 4.9 percent, which is a two-tenths of a percentage point increase from the previous month. Experts say the rising unemployment rate is due to an increased number of jobless Americans who are resuming their search for work. In the United States, people are not counted as officially unemployed unless they have actively sought work in the previous four weeks.
The job gains were also helped by the end of a strike by communications workers that had temporarily put 35,000 workers on the sidelines.
White House economic adviser Jason Furman says job gains have bounced back and are now above the average needed to "maintain a low and stable unemployment rate." S&P Global Ratings' economist Satyam Panday says the previous month's disappointing data may turn out to be an "anomaly" and noted that wages made slight gains.
The data show a gain of 59,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 58,000 in health care and social assistance. Retail and business services also added tens of thousands of positions. The mining category, which includes workers in the oil industry, continued to lose jobs. Petroleum companies have been hit hard by a long and steep drop in oil prices.
The newest figures also show 7.8 million people unemployed across the United States.
Investors and others have been watching economic data even more closely than usual in the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union. An expert at Wells Fargo Securities says Britain is likely to slip into recession later this year, but predicts the impact of Brexit on the U.S. economy will be "limited." Moody's Investor Service says Brexit will have a "significant negative impact" on the British economy, but "limited" impact on other major nations.