Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
Total nonfarm employment in the United States rose by 943,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined to 5.4 percent in July 2021 as the labor market continued to recover from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the monthly jobs report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The jobs report for July 2021 revealed the number of unemployed persons was 8.7 million, down considerably from a recent high in April 2020 but well above levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020. Notable job gains in July 2021 occurred in leisure and hospitality and in local government education.
- Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 380,000 jobs in July 2021 but is down by 1.7 million jobs since February 2020.
- Local government education employment increased by 221,000 jobs in July 2021 but is down 205,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Professional and business services employment rose by 60,000 jobs in July 2021 but is down by 556,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Transportation and warehousing employment added 50,000 jobs in July 2021 but is down by 41,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Other services employment added 39,000 jobs in July 2021 but is 236,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
- Health care employment added 27,000 jobs in July 2021 but is down by 502,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Manufacturing employment rose by 15,000 jobs in July 2021 but is 433,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
- Information employment increased by 24,000 jobs over in July 2021 but is down by 172,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Financial activities employment rose by 22,000 jobs in July 2021 but is down by 48,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Mining employment added 7,000 jobs in July 2021 but is down by 103,000 jobs since a peak in January 2019.
- Retail trade employment lost 6,000 jobs in July 2021 and is down by 270,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Employment changed little in other major industries such as construction and wholesale trade in July 2021.
The jobs report showed the change in employment for May 2021 was revised from 583,000 jobs added to 614,000 jobs added, while June 2021 was revised from 850,000 jobs added to 938,000 jobs added. With these revisions, gains in May 2021 and June 2021 were 119,000 jobs higher than previously reported.
As in previous months, some workers affected by the pandemic who should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff were instead misclassified as employed but not at work. However, the share of
misclassified responses was highest in the early months of the pandemic and has been lower in recent months.
Since March 2020, the BLS has published an estimate of what the unemployment rate might have been had misclassified workers been included among the unemployed. Repeating this same approach, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July 2021 would have been 0.3 percentage point higher than reported.
The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (PDF). The jobs report for August 2021 will be released on Friday, September 3, 2021. More information about the July 2021 jobs report is at www.bls.gov/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-july-2021.htm.
COVID-19 is a deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of August 6, 2021, there are approximately 201 million global cases and 4.2 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 35 million cases and 615,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.
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