The U.S. job market was stronger than expected in June, with payrolls growing by 372,000 and several sectors vying for the leadership role.
Health care and social assistance saw the biggest jump month over month, adding nearly 78,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.
Professional and business services followed closely, with a gain of 74,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality continued its rebound with a gain of 67,000 jobs.
“Over the past three months, private sector employers have added an average of 362,000 jobs a month. That’s well above the number needed to keep the unemployment rate steady, which is closer to 75,000 to 100,000 a month. Payroll growth would have to slow quite a bit more to even approach that rate,” said Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed.
“Underneath the hood of that number shows continued gains for the leisure and hospitality sector. That’s a good signal of progress for a sector that’s still down 7.8% of its pre-pandemic employment,” Bunker added.
Within leisure and hospitality, the food services and drinking places category gained 40,800 jobs.
Other notable gains came from retail trade, which rose by 15,400 jobs, and transportation and warehousing, which rose by 35,500 jobs.
Several major retail companies, including Target and Amazon, have warned about a shift in consumer demand hurting their businesses. Retail trade employment fell in May, and June’s gains only partially reversed that loss.
The only negative employment sector in June was government, which shed 9,000 jobs. That drop was primarily driven by a decline in federal employment.