The U.S. economy topped expectations with 1.8 million jobs added in July. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, down from 11.1% in June.
Over the past three months, the economy has recovered about 42 percent of the 22 million jobs it lost during the initial COVID-19 shutdowns, the data shows.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the Labor Department’s jobs report to show that unemployment dropped to 10.5% and the economy added 1.6 million jobs.
Last week, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to 1.18 million, the lowest level since the pandemic started in mid-March. The figure — the lowest since March 14 – indicates there’s still some driving power behind the job market’s turnaround.
Leisure and hospitality once again accounted for the biggest bulk of jobs created last month, with 592,000 new positions added. About 504,800 of those jobs were added by food services and drinking places — one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic as states ordered restaurants and bars to close and directed Americans to stay at home.
Government jobs grew by 301,000, retail saw a gain of 258,300 and manufacturing increased by 26,000. Education and health services rose 215,000.
MacDailyNews Take: Positive signs with the unemployment rate continuing to fall. Hopefully the vaccine will come more quickly than most previously thought possible as Operation Warp Speed accelerates development by funding steps to proceed simultaneously versus the usual sequential process. Until then, try to be as safe as you can be – wash your hands frequently, keep your hands away from your face, wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, etc.
The CDC guidelines for how to protect yourself and others — especially older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes and are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 — are here.