WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in August to 8.4% from 10.2% even as hiring slowed, with employers adding the fewest jobs since the pandemic began.
Employers added 1.4 million jobs, the Labor Department said Friday, down from 1.7 million in July. The U.S. economy has recovered about half the 22 million jobs lost to the pandemic.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department added to evidence that nearly six months after the coronavirus paralyzed the country, the economy is mounting only a fitful recovery. From small businesses to hotels, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues, a wide spectrum of companies are struggling to survive the loss of customers with confirmed viral cases still high.
After an epic collapse in the spring, when the economy shrank at a roughly 30% annual rate, growth has been rebounding as states have reopened at least parts of