July 2022 Employment Summary

  • On August 11, 2022

Some people celebrated Independence Day and vacations with their families, while others pursued job opportunities to advance their careers. Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers with information and process hiring, but the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and possible factors involved.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 528,000 for the month, resulting in the unemployment rate edging down to 3.5%. Both total nonfarm employment and the unemployment rate have returned to their February 2020 pre-pandemic levels. Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers, at 1.2 million in July, continued to trend down over the month and is 129,000 lower than in February 2020. The number of persons on temporary layoff, at 791,000 in July, changed little from the prior month and has essentially returned to its pre-pandemic level. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 269,000 and has too returned to its February 2020 level. Those long-term unemployed accounted for 18.9% of the total unemployment rate for the month of July. The labor force participation rate, at 62.1%, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.0%, were little changed over the month. Both measures remain below their February 2020 values, which were 63.4% and 61.2% respectively.

The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons increased by 303,000 to 3.9 million in July. This rise reflected an increase in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions. The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons is below its February 2020 level of 4.4 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they could not find full-time jobs. The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.9 million, showing little change when compared to June’s data. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. 

Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.5 million, was about unchanged in July. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, were 424,000 for the month and were little changed from the prior month. 

Job growth was widespread in various industries for the month of July, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. Leisure and hospitality added 96,000 jobs, as growth continued in food services and drinking places (+74,000). Employment in professional and business services continued to grow, with an increase of 89,000 for the month. Job growth was widespread within the industry, including gains in the management of companies and enterprises (+13,000), architectural and engineering services (+13,000), management and technical consulting services (+12,000), and scientific research and development services (+10,000). Health care rose by 70,000, with job gains occurring in ambulatory health care services (+47,000), hospitals (+13,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+9,000). 

Employment in government rose by 57,000, and over the month, employment increased by 37,000 in local government, mostly in education (+27,000). Construction increased by 32,000 as specialty trade contractors added 22,000 jobs. Manufacturing employment increased by 30,000, specifically in the durable goods industries (+21,000), and job gains also followed in semiconductors and electronic components (+4,000) and miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+4,000). Social assistance added 27,000 jobs, including a gain of 19,000 in individual and family services. Retail trade increased by 22,000, although it has shown no net change since March, with job gains occurring in food and beverage stores (+9,000) and general merchandise stores (+8,000). 

In July, transportation and warehousing added 21,000 jobs. Employment rose in air transportation (+7,000) and support activities for transportation (+6,000). Information employment continued its upward trend (+13,000), and financial activities continued to trend up as well (+13,000). Opportunities in mining rose by 7,000, with gains in support activities for mining (+4,000) and oil and gas extraction (+2,000). Employment showed little change over the month in wholesale trade and in other services.

For the month of July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 15 cents, or 0.5%, to $32.27. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.2%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11 cents, or 0.4%, to $27.57. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.6 hours for the fifth month in a row. In manufacturing, the average workweek for all employees held at 40.4 hours, and overtime increased by 0.1 hours to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained unchanged at 34.0 hours.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised up by 2,000, from +384,000 to +386,000, and the change for June was revised up by 26,000, from +372,000 to +398,000. With these revisions, employment in May and June combined is 28,000 higher than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.

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