WASHINGTON (Fox News): The U.S. unemployment rate edged down to 10.2 percent in July even as a wave of new coronavirus cases forced most states to pause or reverse their reopenings, slowing hiring.
The Labor Department said in its Friday report that employers added 1.8 million jobs in June — a far slower pace than the 4.8 million created in June, which was the highest recorded. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report to show that unemployment dropped to 10.5% and the economy added 1.6 million jobs.
Estimates varied widely amid escalating fears that a flare-up in COVID-19 cases across the country and a fresh round of business closures would derail the job market’s early recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
“Some states continue to recover; some states are becoming more restrictive after earlier reopening. There is a lot of uncertainty around our payrolls forecast. We cannot rule out a negative print,” a UBS analyst note said.
The virus-induced crisis sent the economy plunging by a record-shattering 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter as the outbreak brought American life to a grinding halt.