World_news US economy added 1.8 million jobs in July but still down nearly 13 million jobs during the pandemic – CNN


New York (CNN business)The US economy added another 1.8 million jobs in July, a sharp slowdown from June and a small step for an economy that’sstill down12.9 million jobs during the pandemic.

It was thethird-straight monthof improvement after the spring lockdown thatdecimated the labor market. But the economy last month added far fewer than the 4.8 million jobs that America added in June.

The unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, theBureau of Labor Statisticsreported Friday, but remains above the Great Recession high of 10% that was reached in October 2009.

Since the pandemic hit, thegovernment has struggled to count the enormous number of people who are out of work. That’s in part because it has been increasingly difficult for workers themselves to discern whether they have been temporarily laid off or employed but not at work.

    The share of misclassified responses was smaller in June and July than in the months before, the BLS said. Including the misclassified workers, the July unemployment rate would have been about one percentage point higher than reported.

    The reopening of the economy and a resurgence inCovid-19 infectionsin some states, paired with business and individualsrunning out of federal aid, has created a unique set of conditions for the jobs market.

    Asurvey from Cornell Universityshowed that 31% of workers who were recently rehired have lost their jobs for a second time during the pandemic. Another 26% have been told that they might get laid off again.

    Meanwhile, theFederal Reserve Bank of St. Louissaid states with more Covid cases since June also registered the weakest employment recovery. This was most notably true for Arizona, Florida and Texas.

      Friday’s jobs report comes during tense times in Washington, asRepublicans and Democrats are butting headsover the next stimulus bill. One point of contention is thegovernment’s boost of unemployment benefits. The CARES act provided a weekly boost of $600 to regular jobless aid. But this provisionran out on July 31.

      Now Congress is arguing about how to proceed: Democrats want to keep the $600 weekly supplement for the rest of the year, while Republicans want to cut it to $400 a week. Some economists believe that too much unemployment aid actually keeps people from returning to work. The question is what is too much aid during an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions.

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