Hiring increased by 943,000 jobs in July, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobless rate fell to 5.4 percent, indicating that the US economy is bouncing back with unexpected vigor following last year's coronavirus shutdown.
The July figures topped experts' expectations of more than 860,000 new jobs. Hotels and restaurants, which are reopening and doing well, gained 327,000 jobs last month. Local public schools grew by 221,000 students.
The number of individuals who reported having jobs increased by one million, lowering the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent from 5.9 percent in June. Last month, 261,000 people returned to work. Companies upped compensation in order to attract workers as the economy recovered: average hourly earnings were up 4% year on year last month.
Last spring, the coronavirus caused a temporary but severe recession, prompting businesses to close and customers to stay at home as a precautionary measure. In March and April of 2020, the economy lost over 22 million jobs. However, it has regained roughly 17 million jobs since then, leaving a 5.7 million shortage compared to February 2020.
The availability of vaccines has encouraged companies to reopen and customers to return to stores, restaurants, and bars that they had avoided for months following the outbreak. Many Americans are also in remarkably good financial health as a result of the lockdowns, which allowed them to save money and receive federal government bank relief checks.
As a result, the economy has recovered at an unexpectedly rapid pace. The International Monetary Fund predicts that the United States' gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic production — will expand by 7% this year, the greatest rate since 1984.
Employers are advertising jobs quicker than applicants can fill them, with a record 9.2 million opportunities in May. Some businesses believe that substantial federal unemployment benefits, including an additional $300 per week on top of ordinary state jobless help, are preventing Americans from looking for jobs. As a result, many states have eliminated federal unemployment benefits even before they are set to expire countrywide on September 6.
Many Americans may be avoiding the labor force due to lingering health concerns and difficulty securing childcare at a time when many schools are closed.
The spread of the highly contagious delta variant has prompted a rebound of COVID-19 cases, clouding the picture. The United States is reporting more than 75,000 new cases each day, up from fewer than 12,000 per day in late June — but still well short of the 250,000 levels seen in early January.