The U.S. added 4.8 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate tumbled to 11.1 percent, the Labor Department said Thursday. However, the government survey comes at the middle of the month, so doesn’t account for rollbacks in states and regions which have been hit hardest by the recent surge in novel coronavirus cases. The unemployment rate remains far above the pre-pandemic half-century low of 3.5 percent, and the 11.1 percentage is likely a slight undercount, according to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for the biggest jump in new payrolls, with 2.1 million added—or around 40 percent of the total growth. However, those sectors are very likely to suffer in the face of new virus cases. Separate figures also released by the Labour Department Thursday showed that some 1.4 million Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week.
President Trump touted the job numbers in a short Thursday morning press conference in which he took no questions and only made passing reference to record COVID-19 spikes in several states as “fires” that were being put out. “We did the right thing, we closed it up, we would have lost millions of lives... And now we’re opening it up and it’s opening up far faster than anybody thought even possible and more successfully,” he said.