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 per cent from 11.1 per cent in June, still slightly worse than the depth of the global financial crisis in October 2009.
However, the Labour Department said that 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. — AFP
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