The U.S. economy has now recouped the 22 million jobs lost early in the pandemic, adding 528,000 positions in July as employers clamored for workers despite a slowdown in economic growth. The jobs recovery took nearly 2½ years and included a stretch in the first half of the year during which payrolls grew faster than during any other post-World War II period when the economy began contracting. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, a half-century low also seen just before the pandemic in early 2020, the Labor Department said Friday. The labor-force participation rate—or the share of adults working or seeking a job—ticked down to 62.1% in July from 62.2% a month earlier. While the economy has recovered all the jobs it lost since February 2020, there are still 623,000 fewer people in the workforce, a factor that has pushed up wages due to a demand for workers that […]