The US economy’s growth slowed in July, adding just 1.8 million jobs following skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19 cases in states like Texas and Florida.
The unemployment rate dropped to 10.2 percent, from 11.1 percent in June, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
The numbers are the first look at the economy following the virus’s resurgence in California, Texas and Florida, which were forced to shutter bars and restaurant dining rooms for a second time after attempting to reopen. The economy added a record 4.8 milli on jobs in June before case numbers began to sharply rise in parts of the country.
A separate report on Thursday showed that 1.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week — the twentieth consecutive week of more than 1 million people filing for the benefits. The figures represented a 249,000 dip in jobless claims from the week prior, however, the report also showed that long-term unemployment claims saw their highest-ever weekly spike.
The numbers arrive a week after the US economy suffered its worst blow since the Great Depression, with the Commerce Department reporting that the nation’s gross domestic product — the value of all goods and services produced here — shrunk 9.5 percent from the first quarter.
The plunge is unmatched in historical data from the National Bureau of Economic Research going back to 1875.
The most recent period that came anywhere close was a roughly 7.2 percent contraction in the last quarter of 1937, in the late stages of the Great Depression.