US job growth surged in June as manufacturing employment increased, more evidence the economy has regained speed after a first-quarter lull, but tepid wage growth could see the Federal Reserve remaining cautious about hiking interest rates.
Non-farm payrolls increased by 287,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since last October, the Labour Department said.
May's payroll count was revised down to only 11,000, from the previously reported 38,000.
While the unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.9%, that was because more people entered the labour force, a sign of confidence in the jobs market.
Tepid wage growth put a wrinkle on the otherwise upbeat report. Average hourly earnings increased only two cents or 0.1% in June. The year-on-year gain in earnings rose to 2.6% after advancing 2.5% in May.
The signs of economic strength would be welcomed by Fed officials.
But given the US central bank's desire to wait on more data to assess the economic impact of Britain's stunning vote last month to leave the European Union, it probably will not have an impact on the near-term outlook for interest rates.
The Brexit referendum on 23 June roiled financial markets, raising fears that sustained volatility might negatively impact companies' hiring and investment decisions.
Economists have also warned that slower growth in Europe and a stronger dollar could weigh on the US economy.
Minutes of the Fed's 14-15 June meeting published on Wednesday showed that officials "agreed that ... it was prudent to wait for additional data on the consequences of the UK vote."
The Fed raised rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade, but markets now expect no further increase this year.