U.S. employment growth slowed considerably in July, underscoring an urgent need for additional government aid as a resurgence of COVID-19 infections threatens to snuff out the nascent economic recovery, Reuters reported.
The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday came as Democratic leaders in Congress and top aides to President Donald Trump struggled to negotiate a fiscal package. Trump, who lags former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, in polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election, threatened to bypass Congress with an executive order.
“The jobs recovery is on very shaky ground and without seat belts for the unemployed provided by additional fiscal stimulus the economy could be in for a very bumpy ride,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “There cannot be sustainable economic growth if the country has to carry on with the crushing weight of massive unemployment.”
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.763 million jobs last month after a record rise of 4.791 million in June. Excluding government employment which was artificially boosted by a seasonal quirk related to local and state government education, and temporary hiring for the 2020 Census, payrolls rose 1.462 million, stepping down from 4.737 million in June.