The Labor Department’s payroll report released Friday showed the unemployment rate unexpectedly tumbled to 8.4%, down from 10.2% in June. It marks the first time since March the nation’s jobless rate is below 10%.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report to show that unemployment dropped to 9.8% and the economy added 1.4 million jobs. It’s well below the combined 7.5 million jobs added in May and June before hiring cooled in July, with 1.9 million added.
Still, joblessness remains historically high. The unemployment rate sat at 3.5% in February, a half-century low, before the crisis began.