USA jobs growth slows in July as pandemic takes toll

Joe Raedle  Getty Images Joe Raedle  Getty Images

Joe Raedle Getty Images Joe Raedle Getty Images

While the numbers are better than expected, they show a slow climb for any job gains and there are still 12.9 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic shut down the economy.

The US job market extended its recovery in July despite the spread of coronavirus cases around the country.

The unemployment rate on P.E.I. fell 3.5 percentage points in July, but the drop was caused by an increase in part-time work and thousands leaving the labour force.

The number of unemployed workers last month fell by 1.4 million to 16.3 million.

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If those predictions hold true, America would still be down some 13 million jobs since February, and the unemployment rate would still be higher than at the peak of the 2007-09 financial crisis. It was also down from 11.1% in May. April's 14.7% reading was the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A resurgence of cases in the United States has stifled the recovery in recent weeks, however, and some states and cities have answered by scaling back plans to reopen their economies.

About one-third of the jobs gained in July were created in the leisure and hospitality sector, with employment in food services and drinking places rising by just over half a million.

Government payrolls rose by 301,000 in July. The number of workers on temporary layoff fell by 1.3 million in July to 9.2 million. Employers added 4.8 million jobs in June and 2.7 million in May.

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Change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised up by 26K to +2.725M and for June was revised down by 9K.

Further, throughout July, a number of indicators flashed warning signs that the economic recovery had lost momentum. During the month 5.5 million new jobless claims were filed nationally, according to a BLS report on Thursday. At the end of July, the additional $600 (R10,500) weekly unemployment benefit expired, immediately slashing income for millions of unemployed Americans.

In addition, the Small Business Administration's Payroll Protection Program is set to end on Saturday, and lawmakers in Washington are also at odds about extending aid to small and medium-sized businesses in the next stimulus package.

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