July 2021 added the highest number of jobs since August last year. The numbers touched a new high of 943,000 in the last month. This increasing trend promised a consistently recovering economy that – if pandemic subsides – is on its way to get back on track.

The unemployment rate also tumbled to a 16-month low last month at 5.4% (a decline of 0.5% from last month) as more people joined the workforce. Though we are still far from reaching pre-pandemic figures, the downturn in unemployment number assures a hopeful future.

Job Growth

Cheering this news, U.S president, Joe Biden also tweeted “We created more than 4 million jobs in six months. Economic growth is the fastest in 40 years. Jobs are up. Unemployment is down.”


Unemployment Numbers

Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff fell by 572,000 to 1.2 million in July. Numbers are down considerably from the high of 18.0 million in April 2020 but are 489,000 above the February 2020 level.

Permanent job losers declined by 257,000 to 2.9 million in July but are 1.6 million higher than in February 2020. Also, people not in the labor force who currently want a job was 6.5 million, about unchanged over the month but up by 1.5 million since February 2020.

Read More: US Adds 559,000 New Jobs in May

Industry-wise Growth

1. Leisure and hospitality industry took the hardest hit during the pandemic. But is currently experiencing the largest job gains with 380,000 positions. Of which 253,000 came in bars and restaurants alone. The remaining increases were seen in hotels with 74,000 new jobs and arts, entertainment, and recreations with 53,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate also dropped to 9% in July from 10.9% in June and compared to 25% a year earlier.

2.   Education industry also showed strong gains, with 261,000 new hires. The BLS cautioned that the pandemic has distorted the sector’s numbers and likely elevated the number for July as without the typical seasonal employment increases earlier, there were fewer layoffs at the end of the school year, resulting in job gains after seasonal adjustment. Since February 2020, employment is down by 205,000 in local government education and 207,000 in private education

3. Transportation and warehousing also showed promising growth with 50,000 new jobs in July. Among which warehousing and storage added 11,000, couriers and messengers added 8,000, and transit and ground passenger transportation numbers topped off with 19,000 jobs.

Employment in transportation and warehousing has grown by 534,000 since April 2020; the industry has recovered 92.9 percent of the jobs lost during the February-April 2020 recession (-575,000).

4. The manufacturing, healthcare, and financial sectors experienced moderate growth with 27,000, 37,000, and 22,00 respectively.

Following the positive news July brought in, May’s numbers were also revised up by 31,000 to 614,000, and the June count increased 88,000 to 938,000, for a total gain of 119,000.

Industry Job Growth

It’s Not All Rosy

One cannot ignore the fact that these jobs come amid the increasing corona cases in the U.S, concentrated in areas with unvaccinated populations. People are living in the fear that the rising cases may again impact the recovering economy and slow down the little growth U.S has seen this year.

However, Joe Biden remains optimistic and is planning to put in place a long-term plan to build America back better. That would increase opportunities with better jobs and higher wages.

On the other hand, the US is also struggling with scarcity of labor. Indeed estimated there were 9.8 million job openings as of July 16, far more than the 8.7 million considered unemployed. In a survey of 5,000 job seekers.

However, the amount of those citing health concerns as a reason for not looking for a job declined, with a growing number citing a lack of need due to a financial cushion as the top response and lower wages.

Summing It Up­­

U.S economy is notably striving hard to get back on its feet, but the recovery is slow. As lockdown ends and the vaccination rate increases, leisure and hospitality became the front runners of new employment opportunities.

However, with the dearth of talent, companies need to ramp up their offerings if they want to attract more employees. Increased wages have been one of the consistent workers’ demands throughout all industries, especially leisure, hospitality, and retail.

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