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The U.S. job market added more jobs this October, with employers adding 638,000 jobs and the unemployment rate tumbling to 6.9 per cent reports from Labor Department says. The job gain shows that economic recovery is still intact even as US faces another surging outbreak of COVID-19. October’s increase was slightly below the 672,000 jobs that were added in September and far below the 1.5 million gain witnessed in August.
Still, it is believed that the health of the economy may be better than last month’s headline job numbers would indicate. The overall job tally was held down by the loss of about 150,000 temporary Census jobs. The report Friday from the Labor Department said the unemployment rate sank a full percentage point from 7.9 per cent in September. But as it stands today, the U.S. still has 10.1 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic intensified in March. At the current pace of hiring, it would take until February 2022 for the economy to regain the jobs lost to the pandemic.
Even as slow as economic recovery may seem, it would still be faster than the 2008-2009 Great Recession, when it took more than five years to recover the jobs eliminated in that downturn. Yet it’s very not clear that employers can maintain– let alone increase – their pace of hiring. The job market and the overall economy are under intensified pressure from the accelerating pandemic. With the US on Thursday, breaking another record in the seven-day rolling average for new cases, hitting nearly 90,000. And the longer unemployment remains elevated, economists worry, the harder it will be for many of those out of work to find jobs. Since employers are often reluctant to hire people who have been unemployed for months. “It was a pleasant surprise to see that the pace of the recovery hasn’t slowed down,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, the job search website. “But we all need to keep in mind the huge hole that we’re in, in terms of jobs and unemployment”, she concludes.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK