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On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the economy took another step toward recovery, as the total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.8 million in July and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent.
“In July, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and ]health care,” the Labor Department reported.
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 592,000; government employment rose by 301,000; retail trade added 258,000 jobs; professional and business services increased by 170,000; other services industry added 149,000 jobs, and health care added 126,000 jobs. Manufacturing employment increased by 26,000; employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 38,000
The unemployment numbers dropped for many groups: the unemployment rates declined in July for adult men (9.4%), adult women (10.5%), teenagers (19.3%), Whites (9.2%), Asians (12.0%), and Hispanics (12.9%).
Another piece of good news: the number of unemployed persons who were on temporary layoff decreased by 1.3 million in July to 9.2 million, roughly half of what it was in April.
“The number of unemployed persons who were jobless 5 to 14 weeks fell by 6.3 million to 5.2 million,” BLS added. “Total employment, as measured by the household survey, rose by 1.4 million in July to 143.5 million.”
BLS noted, “The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised up by 26,000, from +2,699,000 to +2,725,000, and the change for June was revised down by 9,000, from +4,800,000 to +4,791,000. With these revisions, employment in May and June combined was 17,000 higher than previously reported.”
In mid- April, President Trump announced he was reopening the economy. He stated:
As I have said for some time now, a national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution. To preserve the health of our citizens, we must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy. Over the long haul, you can’t do one without the other. It cannot be done. To keep vital supply chains running, these chains have to be taken care of so delicately. They’re delicate. The balance is delicate …
A prolonged lockdown combined with a forced economic depression would inflict an immense and wide-ranging toll on public health … Our approach outlines three phases in restoring our economic life. We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time. And some states will be able to open up sooner than others. Some states are not in the kind of trouble that others are in. Now that we have passed the peak in new cases, we’re starting our life again, we’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again, in a safe and structured and very responsible fashion …
This is a gradual process. As the caseload in a state continues to go down, restrictions can continue to be eased and come off. Throughout the process, citizens will continue to be called upon to use all of their weapons in this war: vigorous hygiene, teleworking when possible, staying at home if you feel sick, maintaining social distance, sanitizing commonly used surfaces, and being highly conscious of their surroundings. Those are our weapons, and they’re very powerful weapons indeed …
The sacrifices our citizens have made in this time of crisis will be remembered, studied, honored, and praised for generations to come. We’re really all working together. Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal — we’re all working together. This is not about parties; this is about our country …
Now the American people are ready to rise to the occasion once again. They are ready to show the world once more that Americans can defeat any challenger. Together, we will rebuild this land that we love, we will reclaim the magnificent destiny that we share, and we will carry our nation forward to new heights of greatness and glory.