U.S. job growth accelerated in July across nearly all industries, restoring nationwide employment to its prepandemic level, despite widespread expectations of a slowdown as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to fight inflation.
Employers added 528,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said on Friday, more than doubling what forecasters had projected. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5 percent, equaling the figure in February 2020, which was a 50-year low.
The robust job growth is welcome news for the Biden administration in a year when red-hot inflation and fears of recession have been recurring economic themes. “Today’s jobs report shows we are making significant progress for working families,” President Biden declared.
The labor market’s continued strength is all the more striking as gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, has declined for two consecutive quarters and as consumer sentiment about the economy has fallen sharply — along with the president’s