Hires surged in July, as US employers created 943,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, another sign that the U.S. economy continues to rebound with surprising strength since the coronavirus shutdown last year.
July’s figures beat economists’ forecasts for more than 860,000 new jobs. The hotels and restaurants, which are reopening and doing good business, created 327,000 jobs last month. Local public schools added 221,000.
The number of people who reported having a job rose by 1 million, pushing the unemployment rate down from 5.9% in June. Last month, 261,000 people returned to the workforce.
Striving to find workers as business picks up, companies have raised wages: Average hourly wages rose 4% last month from a year earlier.
The coronavirus triggered a brief but intense recession last spring, forcing businesses to close their doors and consumers to stay at home as a health precaution. The economy lost more than 22 million jobs in March and April 2020. Since then, however, it has recovered nearly 17 million jobs, leaving a deficit of 5.7 million compared to February 2020.
âThings are definitely moving in the right direction,â said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
The vaccine rollout has encouraged businesses to reopen and consumers to return to shops, restaurants and bars they had avoided for months after the start of the pandemic. Many Americans are also in a surprisingly strong financial position, as the lockdowns saved them money and federal government bank relief checks.
As a result, the economy rebounded at an unexpected speed. The International Monetary Fund expects the United States’ gross domestic product – the broadest measure of economic output – to increase by 7% this year, its fastest pace since 1984.
Employers are posting jobs – a record 9.2 million openings in May – faster than applicants can fill them.
Some companies accuse generous federal unemployment benefits – including an additional $ 300 per week added to the state’s regular unemployment assistance – of deterring Americans from looking for work. In response, many states abandoned federal unemployment assistance even before it expired nationwide on September 6.
Many Americans may be left out of the workforce due to lingering fears for their health and difficulties obtaining child care at a time when many schools are closed.
The outlook is clouded by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases caused by the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. The United States is reporting on average more than 75,000 new cases per day, compared to less than 12,000 per day at the end of June – although they remain well below the 250,000 levels at the start of January.