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AP Business SummaryBrief at 8:18 p.m. EDT

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'What recession?': US employers add 528,000 jobs in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added an astonishing 528,000 jobs last month despite flashing warning signs of an economic downturn, easing fears of a recession and handing President Joe Biden some good news heading into the midterm elections. Unemployment dropped another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic took hold. The economy has now recovered all 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 slammed the U.S. The red-hot numbers were reported Friday by the Labor Department. Economists had expected only 250,000 new jobs last month, in a drop-off from June’s revised 398,000. Instead, July proved to be the best month since February.

5 key takeaways from the July jobs report

NEW YORK (AP) — July’s jobs report was a stunner, in more ways than one. Despite raging inflation and anxiety about a possible recession, employers created 528,000 jobs last month, more than double market expectations. The job market has now recovered all the jobs lost to the pandemic recession and the unemployment rate is back where it was before the pandemic hit. The report shows that hiring continues at a rapid pace, counter to other signs of a slow down in the U.S. economy. A strong job market probably means the Federal Reserve must continue to aggressively raise interest rates to fight decades-high inflation.

EXPLAINER: How do we know when a recession has begun?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy has contracted for two straight quarters, intensifying fears that it is on the cusp of a recession, if not already in one, barely two years after the pandemic downturn officially ended. Six months of contraction is a longstanding, informal definition of a recession. Yet Friday's jobs report, showing a robust 528,000 jobs created in the month of July, proves once again that nothing is simple in the post-pandemic economy. While most economists — and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell — say the economy isn’t in a recession yet, many increasingly expect a downturn to start later this year or next.

Hourly workers still have leverage as US hiring booms

New York (AP) — As inflation skyrockets, hourly workers keep changing jobs in pursuit of higher wages. And with unemployment still near a 50-year low, experts say that option is likely to remain open to them for the near future. A new Pew Research Center survey shows that about one in five U.S. workers say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months. But for many at the lower end of the pay scale, inflation has already eaten into or erased any pay gains.

Wall Street falls as jobs data suggests Fed hikes not over

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing mostly lower Friday after new data on the hot U.S. jobs market suggested the Fed won’t soon rein in its aggressive rate hikes. The S&P 500 is down 0.2% and the Nasdaq lost 0.5%, while the Dow Jones industrials notched a small gain. Employers unexpectedly accelerated their hiring last month and added hundreds of thousands more jobs than forecast. While the data suggests the economy may not be in a recession, it also undercuts investor hopes that inflation may be close to peaking. Treasury yields jumped. Warner Bros. Discovery had its third worst day ever after recording weak second quarter results.

5 things to consider when looking for a new job

New York (AP) — The U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July, meaning workers who want a new job can probably find one. When looking for a new role, experts advise you think about several factors. These include the state of the job market, salary and benefits, the commute, and the overall work environment. While not all employers can afford to offer cost-of-living wage increases, some are increasingly open to providing other benefits, such as more remote work options, subsidized child care, or coverage of commuting expenses.

Twitter breach exposed anonymous account owners

Twitter says vulnerability in its software that exposed an undetermined number of owners of anonymous accounts to potential identity compromise last year was apparently exploited by a malicious actor. It did not confirm a report that data on 5.4 million users was offered for sale online as a result but said users worldwide were affected. The breach is especially worrisome because many Twitter account owners, including human rights activists, do not disclose their identities in their profiles for security reasons that include fear of persecution by repressive authorities. The company recommended users seeking to keep their identities veiled not add a publicly known phone number or email address to their Twitter account.

Musk countersuit accuses Twitter of fraud over 'bot' count

Elon Musk accused Twitter of fraud in a countersuit over his aborted $44 billion deal for the social media company, which he said held back necessary information and misled his team about its true user base. The countersuit filed by the billionaire and Tesla CEO on Thursday alleges that Twitter committed fraud, breach of contract and violation of the Texas Securities Act. Musk’s counterclaims were filed confidentially last week and unsealed in a filing late Thursday at the Delaware Chancery Court. Twitter called Musk's claims an imagined story based on sloppy data from a generic web tool.

Amazon to buy vacuum maker iRobot for roughly $1.7B

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon on Friday announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the vacuum cleaner maker iRobot for approximately $1.7 billion. It's a move that will allow Amazon to scoop up another company to add to its collection of smart home appliances amid broader concerns about its market power. iRobot sells its products worldwide and is most famous for the circular-shaped Roomba vacuum. Amazon says it will acquire the company for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction that will include iRobot’s net debt. The deal is subject to approval by shareholders and regulators. Upon completion, iRobot’s CEO, Colin Angle, will remain in his position.

US agency probes Tesla crashes that killed 2 motorcyclists

DETROIT (AP) — Two crashes involving Teslas apparently running on Autopilot are drawing scrutiny from federal regulators and point to a potential new hazard on U.S. freeways: The partially automated vehicles may not stop for motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent investigation teams to two crashes last month in which Teslas collided with motorcycles on freeways in the darkness, and the riders were killed. In both cases, the agency suspects that Tesla’s partially automated driver-assist system was in use. The agency says that once it gathers more information, it may include the crashes in an broader probe of Teslas striking emergency vehicles parked along freeways. Messages were left seeking comment from Tesla.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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