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U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops by More Than Expected, to 8.4%

  • Payrolls rise 1.37 million, including 238,000 Census jobs
  • Improvement is across industries and demographic groups
An employee sanitizes the credit card machine in Oak Park, Michigan.
An employee sanitizes the credit card machine in Oak Park, Michigan.Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg
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The U.S. labor-market rebound extended for a fourth month in August, offering hope that the economy can continue to recover despite a persistent pandemic and Washington’s standoff over further government aid to jobless Americans and small businesses.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.37 million, including the hiring of 238,000 temporary Census workers, according to a Labor Department report Friday. The unemployment rate fell by more than expected, by almost 2 percentage points, to 8.4%.