The jobs recovery is continuing, just not as fast as in previous months. Employers added 1.8 million jobs in July, which in normal times would be a staggering number. But as the AP notes, it's down from 4.8 million in June and 2.7 million in May and reflects the resurgence of coronavirus cases around the US. Still, the July figure beat analyst forecasts of about 1.5 million. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, ticked down from 11.1% to 10.2%. Another big figure for context: An estimated 22 million people lost their jobs in March and April, notes the Wall Street Journal.
“On balance, we’re still in a hole,” says Julia Coronado of MacroPolicy Perspectives. “The pace of recovery has really been set back by the resurgence of the virus. Given how far we have to go to re-employ the people who have become unemployed, that’s very discouraging.” What's more, some economists think the recent surge in COVID cases won't truly be reflected in unemployment data until August, per CNBC. (Investors also have their eyes on negotiations in Congress over a new COVID stimulus bill.)