U.S. employers added 4.8 million jobs in June as more states began to ease coronavirus restrictions; however, the data was collected before some states paused or reversed reopening plans due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1%. Year-over-year wage growth was at 5%.
4.8 million: Employers added 4.8 million jobs in June.
11.1%: The unemployment rate fell to 11.1%.
5%: Wages rose 5% over the past year.
The overall numbers for June are good news. According to MarketWatch, analysts had expected a gain of 3.7 million jobs. Most of the gains game in the leisure and hospitality sector, where many restaurant workers returned as more states reduced restrictions. However, the overall numbers only show an incomplete picture.
Economists say despite the job growth in June, they still have concerns. According to the New York Times, the data was collected before the latest surge of coronavirus cases that led several states to either delay or walk back reopening plans. Despite that, while the unemployment rate has fallen, it is still higher than any previous recession recorded since WWII. Additionally, the Labor Department has struggled to collect accurate data as many workers do not know if they have a job to return to.
The New York Times also reports that 1.4 million people filed unemployment claims in the last week of June, and economists fear that more jobs could be lost in states like California and Texas, where coronavirus cases are rising.
Finally, many workers are only returning to part-time hours. In June, 9.1 million workers reported working part-time for economic reasons – more than double the number before the pandemic struck.
It is not clear what the impact of the recent surge in coronavirus cases will mean. Some states have stepped back or delayed their reopening plans. The Washington Post reports that some workers are now being laid off or furloughed for the second time in just months.