Home / Economy / Articles / Unemployment rate drops as 1.8 million jobs added to payrolls in July

National unemployment rate

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Employers added 1.8 million jobs in July, led by businesses in the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors, which were among the hardest hit by the pandemic-related recession.

The unemployment rate dropped to 10.2%, down from 11.1% in June, though still above the high of 10% in October 2009 during the Great Recession.

In July, 16.3 million people 16 and older were unemployed and looking for jobs. That's down 29.2% from the 23.1 million in the same position in April.

While 6.8 million people fewer people are unemployed, 48.8% of those who were unemployed in April were unemployed for more than 15 weeks.

Median weeks of unemployment

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Between April and July, employers added 9.2 million jobs to the payrolls. More than half of that growth occurred in June, when 4.8 million jobs were added to the payroll. In July, 1.8 million jobs were added.

Two industries, the retail trade and the leisure and hospitality sector, accounted for 58.7% of the growth since April.

The retail industry had 14.8 million jobs in July, 5.3% fewer jobs than the 15.6 million jobs in March. The leisure and hospitality industry had 12.5 million jobs in July, 22.3% lower than the 16.1 million jobs in March.

Job and employment numbers have improved as COVID-19 cases climbed in June and July. Together these numbers can help understand how the nation is recovering during the pandemic.