The American job market roared back during the month of July. 943,000 new jobs were added, according to the US Labor Department.
Employers Add 943,000 New Jobs in July
The US Labor Department reported that 943,000 new jobs were added this midsummer thus bringing down the unemployment rate to 5.4% in July from 5.9% in June.
Data was collected in the first half of July prior to the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus exploding in many parts of the country.
Question Becomes, “Can This Employment Growth Last?”
Experts of all disciplines are reluctant to do handstands with July’s strong level of growth because they fear that the spread of the delta virus variant could undermine both job and economic gains.
Already, some companies are delaying their return-to-office plans and some scheduled events have been cancelled.
On the other hand, schools have already and are planning to open and Americans are traveling and eating out in restaurants.
According to Nick Bunker, economic research director with Indeed Hiring Lab, “Sectors tied to the reopening of the labor market are leading the way, giving hope that these gains can continue in the months ahead. However, the Delta variant does pose a risk to the pace of progress.”
Gus Faucher, chief economist with PNC-Financial Services in Pittsburgh, said, “This is a great report, very solid in terms of job grown, wage growth and the decline in the unemployment rate. I don’t see the Delta variant derailing the recovery.”
Unemployment Rate Ratchets Down
Most all industries have seen an uptick in jobs. Construction remains -227,000 since February 2020 but enormous progress has been made since the industry lost 7.6M at the pandemic’s onslaught.
Other industries seeing tremendous job gains since the pandemic include:
- Retail – down -15.6M in April 2020 to -270,300 in July 2021
- Manufacturing – down -12.8M in April 2020 to -433,000 in July 2021
- Business & Professional Services – down 21.5M in April 2020 to -556,500 in July 2021
- Education & Health – down -24.6M in April 2020 to -953,000 in July 2021
- State & Local Government – -20M in April 2020 to -807,000 in July 2021
- Leisure & Hospitality – -16.9M in April 2020 to -1.7M in July 2021
Tom Gimbel, chief executive of LaSalle Network in Chicago, said, “Business is unbelievable. Companies are continuing to hire salespeople in numbers that I’ve never seen before. It shows me that companies are very optimistic about the future.”
Gimbel add, “The huge demand is entry to midlevel, with salaries ranging from $45,000 to $590,000. It’s the rebirth of the middle manager.”
Industries with Biggest Job Gains Most Sensitive to Virus Surge
Leisure and hospitality businesses (including travel) and the education sector were originally devastated by the pandemic and then, as we see above, they’ve made huge gains lately.
Michael Gapen, chief US economist with Barclays, said, “If Delta becomes a concern, it will likely constrain spending and activities and potentially hiring in all of the same service sectors again. It does present some downside risk.”
Gapen did, however, backtrack his comments a bit. He also said, “The labor market in the US is very strong…Indeed, the labor force – people currently working or actively looking for work – grew by 261,000 last month, a sign that more people are gradually coming off the sidelines in search of work.”
Thanks to the US Labor Department, National Public Radio, and the New York Times.