The US economy added just 1.8 million jobs in July, far fewer than in May and June but not as bad as some economists feared, according to government data released on Friday.
As Covid-19 cases spiked in several states in recent weeks, new restrictions to contain the virus forced some businesses to close their doors again, while many have already closed permanently, raising concerns the labour market would take a turn for the worse.
But the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent from 11.1 percent in June, still slightly worse than the depth of the global financial crisis in October 2009.
However, the Labour Department said some workers continue to be misclassified in the survey. Without that, the jobless rate would have been a full point higher than reported.
The July jobs gain marked a sharp slowdown from the 4.8 million increase in June and 2.7 million in May, and means less than half the 22 million payroll jobs lost during the pandemic have been regained.
The largest employment gains were reported in leisure and hospitality and retail, the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus shutdowns, the report said. Government and healthcare also saw strong gains.
The number of people on temporary layoff decreased by 1.3 million, but there were nearly three million workers who lost their jobs permanently, according to the data.
Meanwhile, 8.4 million people were working part-time not by choice but out of necessity, a group known as involuntary part-time workers.
The jobless rate for black workers remains far higher than the national rate at 14.6 percent compared to 9.2 percent for white workers. (AFP)
US adds 1.8 mn jobs, jobless rate falls to 10.2%
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