Employment rose by 943,000 in July, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.4 percent
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.
Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff fell by 572,000 to 1.2 million in July. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.0 million in April 2020 but is 489,000 above the February 2020 level. The number of permanent job losers declined by 257,000 to 2.9 million in July but is 1.6 million higher than in February 2020. In July, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.5 million, was about unchanged. There were 4.4 million persons in this category in February 2020. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
- 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).
- Healthcare 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.
Healthcare employment is down by 502,000 since February 2020.
- 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.
- Employment in information technology increased by 24,000 over the month, with three-quarters of the gain in motion picture and sound recording industries (+18,000). Employment in information is down by 172,000 since February 2020.
- Employment in financial activities rose by 22,000 over the month, largely in real estate and rental and leasing (+18,000). Employment in financial activities is down by 48,000 since February 2020.