The coronavirus pandemic has had broad-reaching effects on the American economy and people’s daily lives. Whether it’s the struggle of working parents to homeschool their children while working from home or the millions of Americans who suddenly found themselves without jobs, everyone has been affected in some way by the pandemic and wide-spread lockdowns. 

Today, the monthly BLS jobs report was released, showing June numbers that blew away the predictions for growth. 

According to the report, the U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June. This far surpassed the prediction of 3.1 million job gains. We should note the difference between the predicted number and the actual number: 1.7 million, more than the entire population of Hawaii. 

Coming along with the job gains, the unemployment rate fell from 13.3 percent in May to 11.1 percent, a much larger drop than the predicted 12.5 percent rate. 

The report highlights that June’s job gain is the largest monthly gain on record and, combined with the 2.7 million jobs added in May, represents the recovery of around one-third of the coronavirus-related job losses in March and April. 

It’s been a slow climb but we’re recovering. 

The number of job losses (from employment to not in the labor force) were 3.6 million from May to June, well below the 4.7 million average over the last 12 months before this March. 

Americans who were temporarily laid off from work are returning as well. The report estimates that there were 12.5 million people temporarily laid off in June, a decrease of 7.7 million since May. 

Finally, minority groups are not being left behind in the recovery. The number of employed Black Americans increased 404,000, the second highest gain on record. Employed adult female Black Americans particularly benefited during this rise, increasing their numbers by 267,000 in June. Not to be outdone, the unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans dropped by 3.1 percentage points and the unemployment rate for women fell 2.8 percentage points in June. 

Many Americans continue to struggle as the effects of the coronavirus lockdowns continue to affect millions of individuals but the past two months have shown encouraging job growth. Let’s hope the economy will continue on this upward trajectory, back to the booming economy we enjoyed at the beginning of this year.