Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy added nearly 2 million jobs during July, the Labor Department said in its monthly report Friday.
The widely-anticipated assessment said 1.8 million payrolls were added for the month. The unemployment rate declined to 10.2%, it added.
"In July, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services and healthcare," the report states.
The assessment showed that the number of unemployed persons in the United States fell by 1.4 million last month.
Most economists expected an addition of about 1.5 million. The range varied, but most analysts agreed in their projections that the pace of hiring would slow in July.
July's figure is well below the 7.5 million positions added in June and May, when the economy was showing signs of a solid rebound from the initial stages of the pandemic. The May report was a surprise, announcing 2.5 million jobs when analysts were expecting a loss of about 2.5 million.
A resurgence of cases in the United States has stifled the recovery in recent weeks, however, and some states and cities have answered by scaling back plans to reopen their economies.
Thursday, the department said another 1.2 million American workers filed for unemployment at the end of last week, and ADP and Moody's Analytics reported Wednesday only about 170,000 new jobs were added in July.
The department said the average hourly wage for all private employees rose by 7 cents to $29.40, following large changes in recent months.