The chart of the week looks at the job recovery since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a larger than expected increase of 528,000 jobs in July 2022 payrolls, the labor market has now recovered the 22 million jobs it lost when COVID hit in early 2020. After some large initial recoveries in jobs immediately after the initial drop, the labor market has consistently added jobs since the start of 2021. This has decreased the unemployment rate from 14.7% to 3.5%, a rate we saw in February 2020 right before the layoffs resulting from the pandemic hit. Before that we had not seen an unemployment rate this low since 1969.

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