U.S employers added 49,000 jobs in January—but that represents a drop in the ocean compared to the 10 million jobs lost since the coronavirus pandemic started wreaking its havoc nearly a year ago. Friday’s jobs report for last month also showed that the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent, which is the first decrease in two months. While the addition of a small number of jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate are good news, it’s a tiny amount of progress when measured against the economic devastation unleashed by the pandemic. It will take a long time for a full recovery—the Congressional Budget Office has projected the number of employed workers in the U.S. won’t return to normal levels for at least three more years, in 2024.
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