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The Latest Jobs Report Shows More People Are Hiring, but Wages Are Stubbornly Low

The latest, upbeat jobs report shows that despite a shortage of skilled workers, companies are still hiring.
Image: Women at a job fair
A woman speaks to a potential employer at a New York state jobs fair in the Harlem Armory on June 7, 2012 in New York City.Andrew Burton / Getty Images

The economy added a whopping 222,000 jobs in June, beating analyst expectations of 175,000 and showing that the economy remains in good health.

It’s the 81st straight month of job gains, an unmatched streak that totals around 15 million jobs since October 2010.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also adjusted the figures for April (from 174,000 to 207,000) and May (from 138,000 to 152,000).

"The strong job growth in June and the upward revisions for May and April suggest that the concerns about a major slowdown in job growth were premature," Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, for The Conference Board, told CNBC.

The latest numbers show that despite a shortage of skilled workers, companies are still hiring.

The health care sector and professional services saw the most gains in June, adding 37,000 and 35,000 jobs respectively. The retail sector also saw an uptick, despite a grim year that has seen thousands of store closings across the country. Manufacturing had minimal gains, but mining added 8,000 new positions.

Unemployment nudged up by 0.1 percent to 4.4 percent, an indication that more people are feeling confident enough to re-enter the workforce and look for a job.

Related: Where Are All the Workers?

Despite the surge in hiring, wage growth remained stubbornly flat, with a rise of only four cents per hour. Companies usually increase wages in a time of low unemployment in order to attract the best workers. But with an annual increase of 2.5 percent, wage growth is still lower than the 3.5 percent seen in a typical healthy economy.