For the third straight month, the U.S. economy continues to bounce back in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In July, American businesses added 1.8 million jobs.
The economy managed to surpass experts’ predictions for the last month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg anticipated 1.5 million more jobs. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the actual number came in at 300,000 higher.
Furthermore, the U.S. unemployment rate comes in lower than expected. Economists predicted the rate to stand at 10.6%. However, the BLS says the unemployment rate comes in at 10.2%.
The unemployment rate continues to go down from 11.1% in May and April’s 14.7%. The April unemployment rate registered as the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, according to Business Insider.
According to Friday’s report, employment saw rises in most industries and sectors. However, the largest gains came from leisure and hospitality. In the month of July, employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 529,000.
U.S. Economy in Recovery, But is the Momentum Slowing Down?
While the US economy appears to be trending in the right direction, economic experts point out a couple of signs of weakness that remain. Firstly, US employment still remains nearly 13 million below the February numbers. Secondly, the economic recovery may be losing momentum.
Experts say high-frequency indicators such as Homebase and the Dallas Fed Mobility index show a potential loss of momentum. They show less growth in the number of people returning to work as well as participating in economic activity.
In order to inject life into the U.S. economy when the COVID-19 pandemic began, the government approved a stimulus package back in March. Currently, lawmakers hope to pass a second stimulus bill to further aid the economy. However, the second bill may not offer the same benefits as the first one.
Also, the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program ended on Saturday. In the next stimulus package, Democrats and Republicans remain at odds about extending aid to small and medium-sized business.