Washington, Aug 7 (IANS): The unemployment rate in the US dropped to 5.4 per cent in July amid a resurgence of Covid-19, but there was also an addition of 943,000 jobs, the Labour Department reported.
The latest data followed upwardly revised job growth of 938,000 in June and upwardly revised increase of 614,000 in May, according to the report released on Friday by the Department's Bureau of Labour Statistics.
In July, job gains were notable in leisure and hospitality, in local government education, and in professional and business services, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 380,000, with two-thirds of the job gain in food services and drinking places, the report said, but noting that the figure was down by 1.7 million, or 10.3 per cent, from its pre-pandemic level.
The unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point to 5.4 per cent, after unexpectedly rising by 0.1 percentage point to 5.9 per cent in the previous month.
The measure was down considerably from its recent high in April 2020, but remained well above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5 per cent.
The number of unemployed persons decreased by 782,000 to 8.7 million, still well above the pre-pandemic level of 5.7 million, according to the report.
Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff fell by 572,000 to 1.2 million in July, but still 489,000 above the February 2020 level.
The number of permanent job losers, meanwhile, declined by 257,000 to 2.9 million in July, 1.6 million higher than in February 2020.
The labour force participation rate was little changed at 61.7 per cent in July and has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 per cent to 61.7 per cent since June 2020, according to the report.