Still Over 10%

Obviously, this is movement in the right direction, though there are still indications that the BLS survey has not handled the unique circumstances of the pandemic. (There are also some more tinfoil hat possibilities, but Very Serious People don’t discuss such things)

Hiring increased in July for the third straight month, though overall gains have yet to restore half of the U.S. jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

July’s addition of 1.8 million jobs and a lower unemployment rate of 10.2%, after a peak of nearly 15% in April, showed the U.S. economy continued to mend during the summer coronavirus surge. It also reflected how far the economy has to go to overcome the shock from the pandemic and related lockdowns.

The U.S. now has about 13 million fewer jobs than in February, the month before the coronavirus hit the U.S. economy, the Labor Department said on Friday. Unemployment remains historically high. Before the coronavirus drove the U.S. into a deep recession this year, the unemployment rate was hovering around a 50-year low of 3.5%.

“We’re in a pretty strong rebound,” said David Berson, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. chief economist. “But the downturn was so big—the hole that was dug was so deep—that it will still take probably at least a couple of years to dig ourselves out.”

It might take longer than that, since supplemental unemployment benefits have ended, and eviction moratoriums are coming to an end.

Still anyone who calls double-digit unemployment good news need their head examined.

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