US added 943,000 jobs in July; unemployment rate at 5.4% - Africa News Quick
  • August 6, 2021

US added 943,000 jobs in July; unemployment rate at 5.4%

President Biden said an upbeat jobs report on Friday shows his recovery plan is working, but a fast-moving strain of the coronavirus poses a threat that must be overcome with more comprehensive vaccination.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. added 943,000 jobs in July, beating forecasts, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, the lowest since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“While our economy is far from complete, and we will certainly have ups and downs along the way as we continue to fight the rising delta of COVID, what is indisputable is this: The Biden plan is working,” Biden said at the White House.

The leisure and hospitality sectors contributed more than a third of labor earnings as the venues recovered from the lockdown measures. Restaurants and bars contributed 253,000 jobs.

Biden said a bipartisan infrastructure bill making its way through the evenly divided Senate will enhance the recovery. The bill would inject $ 1.2 billion into roads, bridges, drinking water systems and broadband access, among other improvements.

The plan “will soon transform America once again and propel us into the future,” Biden said.

The big question is whether the delta variant will reverse the positive trends.

The July report did not reflect the scope of the new threat, as reported infections and hospitalizations increased rapidly at the end of the month. About 52,000 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in the US, an 82% increase from 14 days ago.

Vaccine mandates and fear of the delta variant are renewing interest in COVID-19 injections, giving officials hope that they can overcome the increase.

Biden said 4 million injections were given in the last week.

“That’s more than we’ve seen in a long time,” he said. “America can beat the delta variant.”

In its current form, approximately 50% of the US population is fully vaccinated against the disease.

Biden said cases will continue to rise as the vaccination campaign escalates again, but said the injections will prevent the worst outcomes.

“This new variant delta wave of COVID will be very different from the one that was underway when I took office,” he said.

Still, he added, “we have a lot of work to do.”

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