2020Jobs Report
Jobs Report

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added 1.8 million jobs while the unemployment rate declined to 10.2 percent in July 2020, improvements reflecting the resumption of economic activity curtailed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it, according to the jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The jobs report revealed the number of unemployed people fell by 1.4 million to reach 16.3 million in July 2020, while employment rose in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and health care. Here is a breakdown of job gains and losses by sector in July 2020:

  • Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 592,000 jobs in July 2020. Despite these gains, employment in food services and drinking places is down by 2.6 million jobs since February 2020.
  • Government employment added 301,000 jobs in July 2020 but is 1.1 million jobs below its February 2020 level.
  • Retail trade employment rose by 258,000 jobs in July 2020. Employment in the industry is 913,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Professional and business services employment added 170,000 jobs in July 2020 but employment is 1.6 million jobs below its February 2020 level.
  • Other services industry employment added 149,000 jobs in July 2020. Since February 2020, employment in the other services industry is down by 627,000 jobs.
  • Health care employment added 126,000 jobs in July 2020 but is down by 797,000 jobs since February 2020.
  • Social assistance employment increased by 66,000 jobs in July 2020 but is 460,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Transportation and warehousing employment added 38,000 jobs in July 2020. Despite job gains over the past two months, employment in the industry is down by 470,000 jobs since a recent peak in January 2020.
  • Manufacturing employment rose by 26,000 jobs in July 2020 but is down by 740,000 jobs since February 2020.
  • Financial activities employment added 21,000 jobs in July 2020. Since February 2020, employment in financial activities is down by 216,000 jobs.
  • Construction employment increased by 20,000 jobs in July 2020. However, employment in the industry remains 444,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.
  • Mining employment continued to shed jobs with 7,000 jobs lost in July 2020. Mining employment has lost 127,000 jobs since a recent peak in January 2019, although nearly three-fourths of the decline has occurred since February 2020.

The jobs report showed the change in employment for May 2020 was revised from 2,699,000 jobs added to 2,725,000 jobs added while June 2020 was revised from 4,800,000 jobs added to 4,791,000 jobs added. With these revisions, gains in May 2020 and June 2020 combined were 17,000 jobs higher than previously reported.

Since March 2020, jobs report survey interviewers were instructed to classify employed persons absent from work due to temporary coronavirus-related business closures or cutbacks as unemployed. BLS and Census Bureau analyses of data suggest this group still may include workers who should have been classified as unemployed.

“For March through June, BLS published an estimate of what the unemployment rate would have been had misclassified workers been included. Repeating this same approach, the overall July unemployment rate would have been about one percentage point higher than reported,” the July 2020 jobs report noted.

The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm. The jobs report for August 2020 will be released on Friday, September 4, 2020. More information about the July 2020 jobs report is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-july-2020.htm.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of August 7, 2020, there are approximately 19.1 million global cases and 715,000 global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 4.8 million cases and 160,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

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