WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States added 1.8 million jobs in July, a pullback from the gains of May and June and evidence that the resurgent coronavirus has weakened hiring and the economic rebound.
At any other time, hiring at that level would be seen as a blowout gain. But after employers shed a staggering 22 million jobs in March and April, much larger increases are needed to heal the job market.
The hiring of the past three months has recovered only 42% of the jobs lost to the pandemic-induced recession, according to the Labor Department’s jobs report released Friday.
And now, with much of the nation having paused or reversed plans to restore economic activity, many employers are still reluctant or unable to hire and consumers remain generally hesitant to shop, travel or eat out.
Until the health crisis is solved through a vaccine or an effective treatment, most experts say the economy will struggle to sustain any recovery.
Though the unemployment rate fell last month from 11.1% to 10.2%, that level still exceeds the highest rate during the 2008-2009 Great Recession.