Deep into a tumultuous year filled with multiple serious crises, the White House has reason to celebrate some welcomed improvement for the nation’s economy and workforce.
According to a Fox Business report, the nation added about 1.8 million jobs in July despite the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases across much of the U.S.
Following numbers released on Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, an analysis shows a mixed bag of economic recovery. Bad figures are to be expected amid a public health crisis, but the jobs report does provide a silver lining in the sheer number of jobs added.
Broken down by industry, leisure and hospitality saw the biggest gain with 592,000 new jobs. This is particularly promising because it suggests that restaurants and bars, which were hit hard by coronavirus shutdowns, are starting to recover.
Government jobs grew by 301,000, the retail industry saw 258,000 additions, and the educational and health services field added 215,000 jobs. Manufacturing rounded out the top five with 26,000 new jobs.
While a strong number on its own, July’s results paled in comparison to the 4.8 million created in June. Nevertheless, the cumulative gains of recent months represent just 42% of the approximately 22 million jobs lost over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
Americans can look at the trend as a sign of hope, though, with numbers continuing to head in the right direction. July’s gains, after all, came during a resurgence in the virus that forced many businesses to either shut down again or slow down their operations significantly.
10.2% unemployment rate
The results were also evident in the nation’s shrinking unemployment rate. It dropped from 11.1% in June to 10.2% last month.
As for the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits, that number dropped to 1.18 million. That represents the lowest this number has been since mid-March.
Congress and the White House are currently engaged in negotiations surrounding the terms of the next coronavirus relief bill.
While many lawmakers are urging for a continuation of additional weekly benefits to those out of work, a strengthening economy could mean these payments will not be needed by as many Americans as some forecasts predicted.
Hopefully, this will be the first in a long line of signs that the U.S. economy is well on its way to a full recovery.