Hiring surged in July as American employers added 943,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, another sign that the U.S. economy continues to bounce back.
The July numbers exceeded economists’ forecast for more than 860,000 new jobs. The Labor Department also revised its jobs numbers for May and June, adding another 119,000 jobs.
As businesses scramble to find workers as customers come back, they’ve raised wages: Average hourly earnings were up 4% last month from a year earlier, especially impressive because so many of the new jobs came in the low-wage leisure and hospitality sector.
The outlook for the jobs market and the economy is clouded by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases caused by the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. The United States was reporting an average of more than 98,000 new daily cases as of Thursday, up from fewer than 12,000 a day in late June — although still well below the 250,000 level of early January.
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