Virus still a threat to V-shaped US recovery despite record jobs lift
AMERICAN employers hired a record 4.8m workers in June as the country’s economy bounces back – but experts have warned this stellar recovery could be stopped in its tracks by surging coronavirus cases.
The world’s biggest economy shed more than 20m jobs in April at the height of the lockdown, but the US has now regained a third of those workers in just two months after 2.7m jobs were added in May – suggesting it has begun a rapid “V-shaped” recovery.
President Donald Trump said the figures were “spectacular news for American workers and American families”, but they came as the US passed 50,000 daily infections for the first time.
The surge in cases includes 10,000 in a single day in Florida and has prompted more than 20 states to pause reopening and reimpose some restrictions, fuelling fears over the sustainability of the jobs fightback.
David Page, head of research at Axa Investment Management, said that more than half of the US’s job gains in June came from reopening retail, leisure and hospitality industries.
He said: “It is likely that job growth in these sectors slows next month and could even reverse in some areas. This is the real threat to the US recovery.”
The June job creation figures were higher than the 3.2m expected by economists and the biggest increase since records began in 1993.
They bring America’s unemployment rate down to 11.1pc, still well above the 50-year low of 3.5pc earlier in 2020.