Jul 2, 2020 - Economy

U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs last month, while the unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% from 13.3% in May, according to government data released Thursday.

The state of play: While the labor market showed more signs of recovery when the government’s survey period ended in early June, the lag means that more recent developments, like the surge in coronavirus cases and resultant closures in some states, aren't captured in this data.

  • The report was released alongside the government's weekly unemployment filings report, which showed that another 1.4 million Americans filed for jobless benefits last week. While that remains below its all-time peak. when the pandemic first hit, it still remains historically high.

The big picture: Over 20 million jobs were lost in the first two months of the pandemic, so the labor market has a very long way to go to reach full recovery.

  • And the unemployment rate remains historically high — far above the half-century low of 3.5% seen in February before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
  • Economists had expected roughly 3 million jobs to be added and the employment rate to decline to 12.5%.

Flashback: Last month's jobs report was far better than expected, with 2.5 million jobs added, reflecting the reopening that had begun around the country.

Go deeper