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US unemployment rate falls to 8.4% in August

US President Donald Trump has congratulated himself on a “much better than expected” unemployment rate in August.

Mr Trump was tweeting on Friday after the US Department of Labor announced that the US unemployment rate had fallen from 10.2% in July to 8.4%.

He wrote: “Great Jobs Numbers! 1.37 Million Jobs Added In August. Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.4% (Wow, much better than expected!). Broke the 10% level faster and deeper than thought possible.”

Mr Trump needs good economic figures right now – his Democratic rival Joe Biden is leading him in many polls ahead of November’s presidential election.

But he did not mention that the number of jobs added in August was the smallest since the coronavirus pandemic began – down from the 1.7 million added during July.

Some 22 million jobs were lost to the pandemic and only about half of them have been recovered.

Mark Hamrick, chief economist at Bankrate.com, said: “As we look now at the figures that have been accumulating, we still have to make back more than 11 million jobs just to get us back to where we were before.”

Guy Foster, head of research at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin, said: “US employment growth looks in good shape with over a million more jobs created during the month of August and the momentum likely to have lasted beyond this report based upon the sharp decline in continuing jobless claims reported yesterday (unlikely to be captured by this survey).

“The fly in the ointment will be the resumed rise in permanent unemployment. Most of the change here is people on temporary layoffs but the permanent layoffs are creeping up again.

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