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June Jobs Numbers Shatter Expectations

A Record 4.8 Million Jobs Created in June, Beating Record Set Last Month

Our Nation’s economy has broken another record as 4.8 million jobs were added in June, bringing the economic comeback to 7.5 million jobs added over the past two months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ June Employment Situation report.

May and June rank as the two largest monthly jobs gains in history, with June’s numbers exceeding expectations once again. In June, nearly every major employment sector enjoyed a gain in jobs, with the leisure and hospitality industry seeing a gain of 2.1 million and retail trade increasing by 740,000. These gains likely reflect the reopening of State economies from May (based on the work week including May 12) through June (based on the work week including June 12).

Millions of Americans have felt the costs of the economic shutdown due to COVID-19, and while the speed of this recovery has far exceeded expectations, jobs have still not recovered the ground lost since the economic shutdown began. From February to April, nearly 22.2 million total jobs were lost. Over the past two months, 7.5 million (33.8 percent) of those jobs have returned. Figure 1 shows that while the leisure and hospitality industry saw the largest gains over the past two months, the industry still has 4.8 million jobs to make up to reach its pre-COVID level.

Additionally, the BLS June Employment Situation report estimates that the overall unemployment rate fell by a record 2.2 percentage points in June to 11.1 percent, and by 3.6 percentage points over the past two months.

Even the 3.6 percentage point reduction in the official unemployment rate since April likely understates the actual progress made. As BLS Commissioner William Beach recently explained, the unique circumstances COVID-19 caused has led the household employment survey to misclassify some workers as “employed” who should have been classified as “unemployed” due to temporary business closures. As the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has previously noted in our May 8th blog, addressing this issue could have resulted in an unemployment rate upward of 19 percent in April. Read more 

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