The US economy created 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% – a new low in the era of the pandemic – the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.
This is the largest job creation since August of last year, when more than a million jobs were added, and more than the 870,000 economists expected.
June’s job gains were also revised upwards to 938,000 jobs added, showing the sustained pace of the recovery over the summer.
Since May 2020, America has created 16.7 million jobs. But it is still 5.7 million below its pre-pandemic level.
The hospitality and leisure industries – decimated by lockdowns last year – were once again the biggest contributors to job gains, accounting for more than a third of the total. Some 253,000 jobs were created in restaurants and bars just last month.
Hiring has also picked up in education, according to seasonally adjusted data. But the labor office has warned that with education hires and layoffs so skewed by the pandemic, the adjusted data could overstate hirings in July.
Average hourly wages rose for the fourth consecutive month, adding 11 cents to $ 30.54 as strong demand for workers pressured companies to pay more to attract staff.
But there’s a new obstacle in its way: The Covid-19 Delta variant has brought down restrictions on public life in parts of the country, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated their mask guidelines for those who have been vaccinated.
The increased spread of the virus from Delta has not weighed much on employment data so far, but that could change in future reports.
This is a developing story. it will be updated
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