Job creation in June was much stronger than expected, as signs grow that the U.S. economy is accelerating.

The U.S. added 288,000 jobs in June, blowing away expectations for an addition of 215,000 in non-farm payrolls. The unemployment rate also fell to 6.1%, the lowest reading since September 2008. Expectations were for the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 6.3%.

Last month’s jobs report was also revised, with non-farm payrolls growing by 224,000 in May, better than the previously reported 217,000.

The report also showed April non-farm payrolls were revised up to 304,000 from 282,000.

The labour force participation rate remained unchanged at 62.8%, the third straight month that measure has remained steady. The employment-to-population ratio was reported at 59%, little changed over the month but up by 0.3% year-over-year.

Average hourly wages grew 2% year-over-year, slightly better than the 1.9% increase that had been expected.

The number of long-term unemployed, which the BLS defines as those out of work for 27 weeks or more, declined by 293,000 in June to 3.1 million.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, also known as involuntary part-time workers), increased by 275,000 in June to 7.5 million.

These charts from the BLS show the net payrolls additions over the last two years and the drop in the unemployment rate.

More to come …

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