Job Market

July 2021 BLS Update: US economy sees biggest job gain since August 2020

The U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs in July, according to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The unemployment rate dropped 0.5% from 5.9% to 5.4%. July also marked the market’s largest payroll increase since August 2020.

Labor force participation rose to 61.7%, and the employment-population ratio increased to 58.4%, though both rates are still below February 2020 levels. The leisure and hospitality sector continues to see large gains with 380,000 jobs added in July, whereas private education is experiencing staffing fluctuations due to the pandemic and saw 40,000 jobs added.

Key Highlights From the Latest BLS Report

  • With 8.7 million currently unemployed, the unemployment rate is now at 5.4%, 0.5% lower than the month prior.
  • 5.2 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic (they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic) This measure is down from 6.2 million in June.
  • For college-degreed workers aged 25 and over, the unemployment rate slid down from 3.5% to 3.1%.
    • For those with some college or an associate’s degree, the rate is 5.0%.
    • For those with a bachelor’s degree or higher the rate is at 3.1% vs. 3.5% in June 2021.
  • Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in local government education, and in professional and business services.

Jobs Added by Industry

  • Leisure and Hospitality added 380,000 jobs
  • Local Government and Education added 221,000 jobs; Private Education added 40,000 jobs
  • Professional and Business Services added 60,000 jobs
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance added 46,000 jobs
  • Professional and Technical Services (accounting and bookkeeping services, management, technical consulting services, and scientific research and development) added 43,000 jobs
  • Transportation and Warehousing added 27,000 jobs

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