U.S. employers expanded payrolls by 943,000 jobs in July 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employers in Leisure and Hospitality continue to lead in hiring, followed by Local Government Education, and Professional and Business Services.
Several Industries Saw Notable Job Gains in July
In addition to the Leisure and Hospitality industry, the following industries experienced growth last month:
- Leisure and Hospitality: 380,000 jobs added
- Local Government Education: 221,000 jobs added
- Professional and Business Services: 60,000 jobs added
- Transportation and Warehousing: 50,000 jobs added
- Other Services Industry: 39,000 jobs added
- Health Care: 37,000 jobs added
- Manufacturing: 27,000 jobs added
- Information: 24,000 jobs added
- Financial Activities: 22,000 jobs added
- Mining: 7,000 jobs added
Unemployment Declined by 0.5%
The unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percent from June to 5.4 percent in July, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 782,000 to 8.7 million. The unemployment rate is down considerably from its high levels in April 2020 but remains well above the pre-coronavirus rate of 3.5 percent and 5.7 million unemployed in February 2020. Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff fell by 572,000 to 1.2 million in July. The number of permanent job losses also declined in July by 257,000 to 2.9 million but is still 1.6 million higher than in February 2020.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates are:
- Adult Men: 5.4%
- Adult Women: 5.0%
- Teenagers: 9.6%
- Whites: 4.8%
- Blacks: 8.2%
- Asians: 5.3%
- Hispanics: 6.6%
In contrast to June, the number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks+) decreased by 560,000 to 3.4 million. Long-term unemployed accounted for 39.3 percent of the total unemployed in July, an increase of 15.2 percent since June.
Average Workweek Unchanged & Telework Decreases
In July, 13.2 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down 1.2 percent from June. This decrease reflects the lowering of restrictions and reopening of many workplaces in July. The average workweek in July remained unchanged at 34.8 hours.
Increase in Hourly Earnings
In July, the average hourly earnings rose by 11 cents from June to $30.54, July is the fourth consecutive month showing an increase in hourly earnings. The rising demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic has put upward pressure on wages. Still, since average hourly earnings vary widely across industries, large employment fluctuations complicate the analysis of hourly earnings.