In the month of June, the U.S. economy gained 4.8 million jobs while bringing the unemployment rate to 11.1 percent. Last month’s numbers far exceeded many economists’ expectations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the June data on Thursday. The numbers reflect that the economy is slowly recovering after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Economists predicted an increase of 3 million jobs and an unemployment rate of 12.3 percent. While June’s numbers surprised many experts, the month of May surprised economists even more. Many predicted a loss of nearly 8 million jobs. However, the economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May, according to NBC News.
During a news briefing on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump said the numbers represent the “largest jobs gain in the history of our country.” He continued by adding: “Today’s announcement proves that our economy is roaring back. It’s coming back extremely strong.”
President Trump specifically highlighted manufacturing gains. The industry gained 356,000 jobs, which he says were “because of our great trade policy.”
While June’s numbers were promising, the economy isn’t quite back to normal. Dan North, senior economist at Euler Hermes North America says, “It still is only chipping away at the 22 million or so jobs we lost,” he said.
U.S. Economy: Jobless Claims
On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also released weekly initial jobless claims numbers. The data shows 1.427 million people filing for jobless benefits for the first time. “We’ve seen that curve going down but we’re still at previously astronomical levels,” North said. “The long-term average before this crisis was around 350,000, so we’re at four times the long-term average and more importantly, it’s flattening out.”
North continued by explaining the strengths and weaknesses of using weekly versus monthly statistics. “The problem with the weekly data is it only shows you the number of people who have become unemployed. The monthly report shows you the number of people who have been unemployed and the number who have become employed,” North said.
[H/T NBC News]