Hiring rose in July, with US employers adding 528,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department he said Friday. That far exceeded economists’ expectations for a gain of 250,000 new jobs over the period. It was also a jump from the previous month, when businesses added despite the highest inflation in 40 years.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% from 3.6% in June, the lowest level since February 2020, shortly before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the latest payrolls report, the economy was adding about 450,000 jobs a month.
The employment numbers underscore the resilience of the economy after two straight, considered a hallmark of a recession. Despite shrinking economic growth, hiring has remained strong as businesses continue to add new jobs and retain current workers amid strong consumer demand.
“With all the worries about a recession, one of the key data points that says the economy is still growing is the jobs numbers,” Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for the Commonwealth Financial Network, noted in a research note before the publication of the report. .
Some analysts also point out that employment growth alone is an unreliable indicator of a recession, noting that hiring often remains strong in the early stages of a recession.
For example, in the three months leading up to the recession caused by the housing crash that began in December 2007, the Labor Department survey showed the economy gaining nearly 300,000 jobs a month, according to Societe Generale Cross Asset Research.