The US has added as many as 4.8 million new jobs in the month of June, bringing down the unemployment rate to 11.1 per cent, latest monthly figures said on Thursday, prompting President Donald Trump to say that the American economy was "roaring back" after being devastated by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The unemployment rate declined by 2.2 percentage points to 11.1 per cent in June, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 3.2 million to 17.8 million.
In all, 4.8 million jobs were created in June, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its latest monthly report.
“Our economy is roaring back,” President Trump told reporters during a White House news conference.
But, the Wall Street Journal said that the US labour market is operating with millions fewer jobs than in February, the month before the coronavirus pandemic struck the country’s economy.
Unemployment rate in May was 13.3 per cent and in June at 11.1 per cent, registering a one of the largest one-month drop.
Trump at his hurriedly convened press conference described it as a “spectacular news” for American workers and families and for the country as a whole.
“There's not been anything like this. Record setting. It was just put out that the United States economy added almost 5 million jobs in the month of June, shattering all expectations. I was watching this morning and the expectations were much lower than that,” he said.
The stock market is doing extremely well, which means jobs, he said. A total of 7.5 million jobs created in the last two months, and that's a record by many millions of jobs, he added.
“Today's announcement proves that our economy is roaring back. It's coming back extremely strong.....
“It's coming back extremely strong. We have some areas where we are putting out the flames or the fires, and that's working out where well,” said the president.
Trump said that this has been possible due to the historic actions taken by his administration.
“My administration has taken working with our partners in Congress to rescue the US economy from a horrible event that was formed, took place in China and came here and they could have stopped it. They could have stopped it. Nobody likes to write that, but they could have stopped it. They know it and I know it,” he said.
“Through the Paycheck Protection Program, we've extended over USD 520 billion in loans to nearly five million small businesses saving and supporting the jobs of 10s of millions of American workers. This has been a tremendous success. Levels that nobody has ever seen before. But we saved all of those--all of those jobs and all of those small businesses. And some will be large businesses soon, perhaps,” he said.
In a statement, Brian Coulton, Chief Economist at Fitch Ratings, said that the fact that unemployment fell far more than expected despite a rising participation rate underlines the rebound in employment, most strikingly in leisure and hospitality.
“Nearly 5 million people on temporary lay-off in May went back to work. But slightly more sobering is the upward creep up in permanent job losers which, along with the recent rise in virus cases, emphasize the recovery challenges ahead,” Coulton said.
The US is currently the worst-hit nation by the deadly disease. The country has reported 2.68 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 128,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.