‘What recession?’: US employers add 528,000 jobs in July

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added an astonishing 528,000 jobs last month despite flashing warning signs of an economic downturn, easing fears of a recession and handing President Joe Biden some good news heading into the midterm elections. Unemployment dropped another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic took hold. The economy has now recovered all 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 slammed the U.S. The red-hot numbers reported Friday by the Labor Department are certain to intensify the debate over whether the U.S. is in a recession. “Recession — what recession?” wrote Brian Coulton, chief economist at Fitch Ratings. “The U.S. economy is creating new jobs at an annual rate of 6 million — that’s three times faster than what we normally see historically in a good year.” Economists had expected only 250,000 new jobs last month, in a drop-off from June’s revised 398,000. Instead, July proved to be the best month since February. The strong figures are welcome news for the Biden administration and the Democrats at a time when many voters are worried about the economy. Inflation is raging at its highest level...

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