So far this year, job gains have averaged 208,000 a month. That's about 1.5 million new jobs this year thus far.
“...yet another solid employment report”, said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
Additionally last week, applications for unemployment benefits increased by a meager 3,000 to about 270,000. The four-week average dropped to 268,250, close to such low levels not seen for nearly 15 years.
Such near-historic lows point to a healthy job market, according to economists. “Initial claims for unemployment insurance have been below 300,000 for 22 straight weeks, the longest such stretch since 1973,” said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services. “Claims are running at a pace consistent with monthly job growth of better than 200,000.”
This additional report of an increase of more than 200,000 jobs implies a continued downtrend in unemployment, according to Jim O’Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics. Such a downtrend would reinforce the Fed’s assessment of the jobs market and recent employment gains as “solid” and get the unemployment rate to within the 5% to 5.2% range that most Fed officials consider to be consistent with "full employment."