The latest jobs report is a sign that more Americans are headed back to work.
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The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June as many coronavirus-closed businesses began to rehire millions of workers who had been idled in the pandemic.
The Labor Department report released Thursday shows employers added 4.8 million jobs last month, the biggest increase on record, even as economists predicted figures to be worse.
In an interview with FOX Business Network on Thursday, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said the “predictions had been maybe we'd add 3 million jobs in June and it was so much better than that. We actually increased our assessment of how many jobs were added in May, too,” he added, alluding to May's figure being revised up by 130,000 for the addition of 2.7 million jobs.
“The other good news … is more opportunities for many millions more Americans to go back to work in the next few weeks. And health care, for example, we have about 900,000 fewer than we did back in February. But we know those people will be going back up fairly soon.”
The U.S. jobless rate remains up 7.6 percentage points compared to the start of the year, however, and there are 12 million more out-of-work Americans than in February. The unemployment rate, still at its highest level in decades, is expected to remain elevated as states reverse their decisions to reopen parts of their economies as COVID-19 cases resurge.
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New cases are now beyond 2.7 million in the U.S., with roughly 127,000 deaths.
But in terms of overall economic recovery, Scalia sees a bounce back looming, so long as Americans stay safe: “Every indication is that it can be a strong recovery. We had an incredible economy and then we had a health problem that caused us to pause the economy. Americans do need to continue to be careful, be safe, be disciplined so we can keep reopening safely.”