The Labor Department also revised its employment figures for May and June, adding 119,000 jobs.
The economy lost more than 22 million jobs in March and April 2020 in a recession virtually overnight as the coronavirus forced businesses to close and people to stay at home. Since then, the United States has recovered nearly 17 million jobs, which means it is still short of nearly 6 million.
“If the pace of hiring over the past three months continues, all of the jobs lost due to the pandemic would be recouped in seven months,” Leslie Preston, senior economist at TD Economics, wrote in a research report. “However, the pace is likely to slow down a bit and the risk of the delta variant is looming.”
The surprisingly strong numbers come at a critical time for President Joe Biden’s agenda, with the Senate set to pass a $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill this weekend before moving to a more than $ 3 trillion expansion. dollars from the social safety net pushed by Democrats.
Biden said the jobs report validated his efforts to stabilize the economy and slow the spread of the virus, and he urged lawmakers to pass the rest of his agenda.
“The bottom line is this: What we’re doing is working,” Biden said, adding, “We have a lot of hard work left to do.”
The United States averages more than 98,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day, down from less than 12,000 per day at the end of June – although still well below the peak of 250,000 reached in January. The vast majority of new cases involve unvaccinated people.