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U.S. added almost 950K jobs in July; Biden says 'hard work left to be done'

"We got a lot of hard work left to be done," President Joe Biden said of the positive jobs report.

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U.S. added almost 950K jobs in July; Biden says 'hard work left to be done'
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the July jobs report in the East Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy added nearly 950,000 jobs during the month of July, the Labor Department said Friday in its monthly report -- soundly beating expectations on Wall Street.

The department said 943,000 positions were added for the month, and the national unemployment rate declined by a half-point to 5.4%.

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Most analysts expected the report to show an addition of about 858,000 jobs.

The figure is a slight improvement over June, when close to 940,000 new jobs were added. Friday's report revised up June's total by about 90,000 jobs.

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"Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in local government education and in professional and business services," the department said in the report.

"These measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession. However, they remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus pandemic."

The department said almost 400,000 of the new jobs came in the leisure and hospitality industry. More than 260,000 were in government and private education. Professional services added 60,000 and transportation and warehousing 50,000.

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Acknowledging that the economic recovery is far from complete, President Joe Biden praised the additions to the labor force.

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"What is indisputable now, is that the Biden plan is working, the Biden plan is producing results and the Biden plan is moving the country forward," he told reporters at the White House.

"My message today is not one of celebrations. It's one to remind us we got a lot of hard work left to be done."

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Biden said his is the first administration to see continual job growth in the first six months after taking office.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said the numbers show that the economy is healing.

"Economic recovery depends on our commitment to public health, so I urge every eligible person to get vaccinated against COVID-19 who has not done so already," Walsh said in a statement. "It's how to protect yourself, protect your family, and help our economy move forward."

Earlier this week, ADP and Moody's Analytics reported that the private sector added about 330,000 jobs in July.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last month that the COVID-19 pandemic is still having an impact on the job market in the United States.

"Factors related to the pandemic, such as care-giving needs, ongoing fears of the virus and unemployment insurance payments, appear to be weighing on employment growth," he said at a news conference.

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"These factors should wane in coming months, leading to strong gains in employment."

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