HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — New U.S. Department of Labor figures released Friday show that 2.5 million jobs were filled in the past month leading to speculation that the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus may be slowing.
Economists caution, however, that unemployment may well remain in the double digits for the rest of the year. Unemployment is at its highest level since the Great Depression. With 40 million people applying for unemployment benefits in recent weeks, forecasters were not expecting such a rosy jobs report Friday.
Shoppers at the Premium Outlet Mall in Hagerstown Friday said merchants there were encouraged by the uptick in traffic in their stores. Already during the pandemic such legendary retailers as J.C. Penny have filed for bankruptcy.
The stock market rallied Friday on the news. The Dow Jones Industrial average gained 3.8 percent and the S&P 500 gained three percent.
While the unemployment rate for white workers, Hispanic workers dropped in this latest report, it rose for black workers to 16.8 percent.