• Thomas Parker

Record jobs gain of 4.8 million in June; unemployment falls to 11.1%

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 4.8 million in the month of June, beating economists' expectations of a 2.9 million increase. The unemployment rate dropped to 11.1%, the lowest number yet during the pandemic period.

The jobs growth marked a big leap from the 2.7 million in May, which was revised up by 190,000. The June total is easily the largest single-month gain in U.S. history.

"Today's announcement proves that our economy is roaring back. It's coming back extremely strong," President Donald Trump said in a news conference about an hour after the numbers were released. He pointed specifically to a sharp drop in the unemployment for Blacks that fell from 16.8% to 15.4%. "These are historic numbers."

The numbers capture the move by all 50 states to get activity moving again after the virus seized up much of the U.S., particularly service-related industries.

New jobless claims remain high, however. Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Department of Labor.

Leisure and hospitality again accounted for the biggest jump, as the sector saw a 2.1 million gain, accounting for about 40% of the total growth.

Average hourly earnings fell 1.2% from May as more lower-wage earners returned to their jobs but were still up 5% from a year ago. The average work week slipped by 0.2 hours to 34.5 hours.

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