ECONOMIC REPORT



Men wearing face masks work in front of a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia.


© AFP via Getty Images
Men wearing face masks work in front of a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia.

The numbers: Companies hired fewer people in July during a fresh wave of coronavirus cases even as they listed more open jobs, reflecting a high level of uncertainty about how rapidly the labor market and broader economy are improving.

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Businesses, governments and other organizations hired 5.8 million people in July, according to a Labor Department survey of the labor market that’s released with a one-month delay. But that marks a sizable decline from almost 7 million in June.

Job openings, on the other hand, rose by 617,000 to 6.6 million in July. The number of jobs available was running around 7 million a month before the pandemic.

The number of separations — layoffs, firings, people quitting — barely changed in July at 5 million.

At the peak of

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Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, said Monday night that as the coronavirus “began to spread, the president acted quickly and ensured ventilators got to hospitals that needed them most.” He claimed that Trump “delivered PP and E to our brave frontline workers” and that “he rallied the mighty American private sector, to tackle this new challenge.”

Doctors, public health experts and a prominent Republican governor on the front lines of the pandemic have sharply criticized how slowly the Trump White House responded to the coronavirus, including the delays in the distribution of ventilators and personal protective equipment. Trump Jr.’s remarks omit Trump’s own comments from January to March, months in which the president downplayed the threat and predicted the virus would disappear — time public health experts have contended cost the U.S. in terms of all-important testing. 

Maryland’s Larry Hogan, a

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