Report: The BLS Employment Situation — July 2021

In this monthly blog post we’ll report on BLS Employment Situation data as it is released, for these industries: construction, manufacturing (including durable and non-durable goods), retail trade, transportation and warehousing, real estate rental and leasing services, professional and business services (including legal services, accounting and bookkeeping services, architectural and engineering services, computer systems design and related services, and scientific research and design services, administrative and support services, and administrative support services – employment services), health care, leisure and hospitality, and government.
You can always find the full Employment Situation report on the BLS website.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 943,000 in July, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point to 5.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in local government education, and in professional and business services. The unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point to 5.4 percent in July, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 782,000 to 8.7 million. These measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession. However, they remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020).

BLS Summaries by Industry

Construction: In July, employment showed little change in construction and wholesale trade.

Manufacturing: Employment in manufacturing increased by 27,000 in July, largely in durable goods manufacturing. Within durable goods, job gains occurred in machinery (+7,000) and miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+6,000). Manufacturing employment is 433,000 below its February 2020 level.

Retail Trade: Employment in retail trade changed little in July (-6,000), following large increases in the prior 2 months. In July, job gains in gasoline stations (+14,000), miscellaneous store retailers (+7,000), and nonstore retailers (+5,000) were more than offset by a loss in building material and garden supply stores (-34,000). Since February 2020, employment in retail trade is down by 270,000.

Transportation and Warehousing: Transportation and warehousing added 50,000 jobs in July. Job growth occurred in transit and ground passenger transportation (+19,000), warehousing and storage (+11,000), and couriers and messengers (+8,000). 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).

Real Estate Rental and Leasing Services: N/A

Professional and Business Services: Employment in professional and business services rose by 60,000 in July. Within the industry, employment in the professional and technical services component rose by 43,000 over the month and is 121,000 above its February 2020 level. (Professional and technical services includes industries such as accounting and bookkeeping services, management and technical consulting services, and scientific research and development services.) By contrast, employment in the administrative and waste services component (which includes temporary help services) changed little over the month (+20,000) and is 577,000 lower than in February 2020. Employment in the management of companies and enterprises component was also little changed over the month (-3,000) but is 100,000 lower than the level in February 2020. Employment in professional and business services overall is down by 556,000 since February 2020.

Health Care: Health care added 37,000 jobs in July. Job gains in ambulatory health care services (+32,000) and hospitals (+18,000) more than offset a loss of 13,000 jobs in nursing and residential care facilities. Health care employment is down by 502,000 since February 2020.

Leisure and Hospitality: In July, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 380,000. Two-thirds of the job gain was in food services and drinking places (+253,000). Employment also continued to increase in accommodation (+74,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+53,000). Despite recent growth, employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.7 million, or 10.3 percent, from its level in February 2020.

Government: N/A

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