U.S. unemployment rate rises to 4.1% with 206,000 jobs added in June

U.S. employers added 206,000 jobs in June, more than expected and slightly below the revised 218,000 added in May, a sign the labor market remains solid. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.1% vs. 4%. 

This as both April and May data points were adjusted lower by a combined 111,000, signaling fewer jobs created. This may please the Federal Reserve, which is looking for signs inflation is easing. 

U.S. stocks rose following the report. 

Average hourly earnings, another inflation tracker, rose 3.9% year-over-year, in line with estimates and the smallest increase in three years. 

Hiring was the strongest for government, social assistance and health care, while the retail and manufacturing sectors shed workers. 

This follows the closely watched ADP report which showed companies added 150,000 jobs last month, missing the 160,000 gain that economists surveyed by Refinitiv predicted and down from the revised 157,000 figure in May.

Both data points, closely watched by the Federal Reserve, will influence when policymakers will begin their long anticipated rate-cutting cycle. Chairman Jerome Powell, speaking earlier this week, reiterated the need for inflation to be lower. 

"We want to be more confident that inflation is moving sustainably down toward 2% before we start the process of reducing how tight our policy is," he said during remarks at the European Central Bank Forum. 

Market watchers are currently pricing in the first-rate cut at the September meeting, according to the CME's FedWatch Tool, which tracks the probability of rate moves.