Approved ~~ MJM
The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June as businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year rehired millions of idled workers.
The Labor Department said in its report, released on Thursday because of the Fourth of July holiday, that employers added 4.8 million jobs in June — the biggest increase on record. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report, to show that unemployment dropped to 12.3 percent and that employers added 3 million jobs.
May’s figure was revised up by 130,000 for the addition of 2.7 million jobs last month. Still, the nation’s jobless rate is up 7.6 percentage points compared to the start of the year, when it sat at a half-century low. There are 12 million more out-of-work Americans than compared to February.
Over the course of the past month, every state has started to navigate reopening their economies. But the unemployment level, which is still at the highest level in decades, is expected to remain elevated as social distancing guidelines remain in place, particularly as states fight a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
New cases surpassed 50,000 for the first time this week, reaching a single-day record. Arizona, Florida, Texas and California are among the states that have seen a spike in infections. If the outbreak intensifies, forcing businesses to shut down again, economists have warned the consequences could be dire.
“I think a second wave would really undermine public confidence and might make for a significantly longer recovery and weaker recovery,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at the end of May.