Politics

U.S. Economy Adds 1.8 Million Jobs in July, Unemployment Rate Fall to 10.2%

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The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, providing reassurance that the labor market has kept up some of its post-lockdown momentum.

The numbers were better than anticipated. Economists had forecast an addition of around 1.5 million jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate to 10.6 percent from 11.1 percent last week.

The economy has added around 9.1 million jobs in the past three months. The increase in the ranks of employed workers shows that companies ramped up hiring as the economy reopened and consumers came back to stores, restaurants, and other businesses that had been shuttered in March and April. Despite the gains, employment in July was lower than its February level by 12.9 million, or 8.4 percent

The largest employment increases in July occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and health care, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly report on the employment situation in the U.S.

The leisure and hospitality sector added 592,000 jobs in July, accounting for about one-third of the gain in total non farm employment in July. Restaurants and bars added 502,000 employees, following gains of 2.9 million in May and June combined. This was the hardest hit area during the pandemic lockdowns when many businesses were forced to shut their doors or saw demand plummet.

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