US Added 850K Jobs in June, Shooting Past Economists’ Expectations

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The U.S. added 850,000 jobs in June as more states continue to roll back emergency coronavirus restrictions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

June’s number shot past economists’ earlier expectations of 706,000, and was higher than the 559,000 jobs added in May and April’s dismal 269,000, according to the report released Friday.

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However, despite the job gains, the unemployment rate increased slightly, to 5.9 percent, compared to 5.8 percent in April. And the country still has 6.8 million fewer jobs compared to February 2020, before the pandemic hit, while the unemployment rate is still well above its pre-pandemic rate of 3.5 percent.

President Joe Biden praised the news at a press conference on Friday as a sign that the economy was bouncing back after the pandemic tanked it.

“Our economy is on the rise and we have COVID-19 on the run,” Biden said. “We have more work to do to get everyone vaccinated and everyone back to work. We’re aiming for full employment.”

June’s numbers were once again boosted by strong gains in the leisure and hospitality and retail industries, as more people start leaving their homes and states drop occupancy restrictions for businesses.

While the government has not released statistics on local unemployment rates for June yet, New York City saw a 0.4 percentage point drop in May, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

New York’s unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent in May, far above the national average and its pre-pandemic level of 4 percent, but a huge drop from its 16.3 percent pandemic peak in April 2020, according to WSJ.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.