The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs for the month of June, the Labor Department said Thursday in its monthly employment assessment.
The report also noted the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent for the month.
The assessment is the department’s first since it stunned Wall Street a month ago by reporting an addition of 2.5 million new jobs for May — a report that analysts had expected to show between 7 and 8 million payroll losses.
Most analysts predicted Thursday’s report to show an addition of about 3 million jobs, weeks after many employers recalled scores of workers who’d been furloughed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it,” the department’s report states.
The assessment notes significant gains in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, education and health services and manufacturing.
“The unemployment rate declined by 2.2 percentage points … and the number of unemployed persons fell by 3.2 million,” the department added.
Friday’s report also added another 190,000 jobs for the month of May, and subtracted 100,000 from April’s total.
ADP and Moody’s Analytics, private analysts whose monthly assessments typically precede the Labor Department’s by two days, estimated Wednesday the U.S. economy added 2.4 million jobs in June. The government figures came a day early due to the federal holiday on Friday.
Some economists have predicted unemployment could remain high for months, with populous states like California, Texas and Florida scaling back reopening plans due to new increases in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks.
Mary C. Daly, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said she expects the unemployment rate to stay above 10 percent for the rest of 2020.
“I would hesitate to call this a recovery,” she told The Washington Post. “The longer the virus is with us, the more permanent job separations occur.”
The Labor Department on Thursday also issued its weekly report on new unemployment claims, which cited 1.4 million new filings last week. More than 1 million U.S. workers have now filed new claims for 15 consecutive weeks, but the numbers have been in steady decline since 13 million claims were filed over a two-week period in April.
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