While 9 million jobs were added in the U.S in three months (May, June, and July), the gain followed a record 22 million job loss in March and April.
The coronavirus crisis caused a record loss of about 22.2 million total jobs in March and April. The job situation began to recover in May. In the three months from May through July, about 9.3 million jobs were added, as President Donald Trump claimed during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. However, the unemployment rate was still at 10.2% in July. The most recent report states that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August. The unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in August, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 2.8 million to 13.6 million. Trump's statement is misleading because even though 9.3 million jobs were added in three months, in context, this increase followed a record loss of about 22.2 million jobs in March and April. Fewer than half of the jobs lost in the pandemic, about 42 percent, had returned as of July after the economy slid into the deepest recession since the Great Depression in March. And, many of the jobs "created" in May, June, and July were actually cases in which people on temporary pandemic-related layoff were allowed to return to work, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics. Therefore, the bounce-back was rapid in part because many people had been only temporarily laid off as states shut down to control the spread of the coronavirus and were then quickly rehired. The Labor Department also reported that more than a million people filed new unemployment benefits claims in mid-August. Twenty-seven million people were collecting unemployment benefits as of early August.