SYDNEY (Reuters) – The sharp rebound in U.S. job growth last month eased concerns that the country’s labor market had regressed, a top Federal Reserve official said on Wednesday, repeating she continues to expect gradual interest rate rises.
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, speaking in Sydney, largely repeated a July 1 speech in London in which she said it was too early to judge the full effect of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union on the U.S. economy.
However Mester, a relatively hawkish official who has a vote on U.S. monetary policy this year, noted the recent data on the U.S. labor market was heartening.
“Payroll growth slowed considerably in May, raising the question of whether we were at the start of a reversal from the considerable progress that’s been made in labor markets, or whether the weak reading was the type of transitory change we typically see during expansions,” she said in prepared remarks.
“Hiring rebounded in June, alleviating that concern.”
The U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 287,000 jobs last month, well up from the 11,000 in May, in a sign it had regained speed after a brief lull.
(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Writing by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Kim Coghill)