World

US jobs expansion slows in July as pandemic takes toll

Woman outside closed California State Employment Development Department office due to coronavirus.Image copyright
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Hiring in the US slowed sharply in July as the country struggled to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Employers added 1.8 million jobs last month, down from a record 4.8 million in June.

The unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, continuing to improve from the high of 14.7% seen in April.

The figures reignited calls for Washington to approve further economic stimulus, though the slowdown was not as bad as many economists had feared.

The US economy has lost roughly 10 million jobs since February, when unemployment was hovering around 3.5% – a 50-year low.

In the three months to the end of June, the country’s economy was hit by its sharpest quarterly contraction in more than 70 years of record-keeping, shrinking at an annual rate of 33% or nearly 10% year-on-year.

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