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Today: Jobs, jobs, jobs and the challenge of moving around America right now.

What happened today?

Really good. That’s how Marketplace senior reporter Mitchell Hartman summed up today’s jobs report. U.S. employers added 4.8 million of them in June. The unemployment rate fell 2.2 percentage points to 11.1%.

But — and it’s quite a big “but” — all of that progress came when businesses were reopening. As we’ve been reporting, many businesses that just reopened are abruptly having to re-close. It could take a long time to claw back the damage the pandemic is causing to Americans’ employment.

Sure, we’ve added back about 7.5 million jobs. But we lost 22 million to the pandemic before that, noted Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab. “Employment is still 10% below what we were seeing in February,” Bunker said. “And we’re still seeing really elevated levels of job separations several months into this crisis.”

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The Long Tail

Remember the diffusion index? We talked about it earlier in the crisis. The depth of job loss since the COVID-19 pandemic began is clear. The breadth of that job loss is the aspect measured by the diffusion index. 

“I really almost don’t have words to express how mind-bogglingly widespread this job loss is,” Martha Gimbel, senior manager of economic research at Schmidt Futures, told us at the start of May. She joined us again today. 

“In general, the job growth in June was pretty broad-based,” Gimbel said. “Almost all industries are gaining jobs.” About 40% of the jobs gained were in the leisure and hospitality industry. But there were also jobs added in retail, education and health services, and manufacturing. Whether those gains will be retained … remains to be seen.

The Weekly Wrap

Here are some of the week’s top stories.

Final Note

If you’re traveling this weekend, and you might be, know that state restrictions on travelers from other states are popping up all over the country in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases. The governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have imposed a two-week quarantine on visitors from 16 states where infections are spiking. The state of Maine is being particularly strict. Who ends up enforcing these rules? A lot of it’s falling to businesses.

We’re taking a break Friday for the holiday. See you Monday.

No sensationalism. No fearmongering. Just facts.

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