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Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 4.8 million in June with the unemployment rate declining to 11.1%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Thursday. Last month’s continued improvements reflect a rebound of economic activity that had been diminished in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders. However, with COVID-19 cases increasing in some areas and more states slowing or reversing their opening plans, concerns remain that the jobs improvements could stall.

Employment in leisure and hospitality rose sharply in June, with notable job gains also occurring in retail trade, education and health services, other services, manufacturing, and professional and business services.

“Today’s jobs report shows that our resilient economy continues to return more people to work, more quickly, than forecast. It is heartening to see employment gains across nearly all demographics,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “The report reflects that we can return millions more Americans to work in the weeks ahead, provided we bear in mind that economic recovery must go hand-in-hand with safe practices and self-discipline.”

The unemployment rate declined last month by 2.2 percentage points, and the number of unemployed declined by 3.2 million to 17.8 million. However, the jobless rate and number of unemployed are still up by 7.6 percentage point and 12 million, respectively, since February.

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