U.S. added 1.8 million jobs in July, better than anticipated, but the jobs recovery remains slow.

Today’s jobs report shows an economy that continues to recover, but slowly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1.8 million jobs were added last month. 

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.8 million in July, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These
improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and
efforts to contain it. In July, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and
health care.

Calculated Risk adds,

This was above consensus expectations of 1.58 million jobs added, and May and June were revised up by 18,000 combined.

Reactions were mixed. 

CNBC reports,

July’s report “confirms that the resurgence in new virus cases caused the economic recovery to slow, but also underlines that it has not yet gone into reverse,” said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “With new infections now trending clearly lower again and high-frequency activity indicators showing tentative signs of a renewed upturn, employment should continue to rebound over the coming months.”

MarketWatch has a roundup of economists’ opinions, including these:

:The jobs recovery continues, and at a moderately faster-than-expected pace in July. That’s the good news. The bad news is the pace of recovery is slowing. The easy job gains are behind us and it will be an increasingly slower slog from here unless/until a vaccine allows the economy to fully reopen.” — Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial


“The real surprise in this report is that the number of permanent job losers held roughly steady in July from June. That means for every person laid off (with no expectation of being recalled) between June and July, someone else who had been permanently unemployed was hired.” — Betsey Stevenson, professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan and former chief economist at the Labor Department

Bloomberg reports,

“There is some moderation in the pace of job creation, naturally, as you get past the initial bounce in activity upon reopening,” said Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America Corp. “It’s still a long road ahead in terms of fully recovering the labor market, but progress is being made.”

Overall, slow progress.