July Employment Summary Report

  • On August 12, 2021

Between summer vacations and national holidays, July was full of fun activities. But, many also searched for the perfect position. 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 through our July Employment Summary Report. 

The overall unemployment rate decreased 0.5% to a total of 5.4% for the month of July and the number of unemployed persons fell by 782,000 to 8.7 million. Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff fell by 572,000 to 1.2 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 560,000 in July to 3.4 million, accounting for 39.3 percent of the total unemployed. The number of persons jobless less than 5 weeks increased by 276,000 to 2.3 million. 

The labor force participation rate was little changed at 61.7 percent in July and has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020. The participation rate is 1.6 percentage points lower than in February 2020. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage points to 58.4 percent in July and is up by 1.0 percentage points since December 2020. However, this measure is 2.7 percentage points below its February 2020 level.

In July, the number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons, at 4.5 million, was about unchanged. 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. The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 6.5 million, about unchanged over the month. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job. 

For the previous month, 13.2 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 14.4 percent in the prior month. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 943,000 in July, following a similar increase in June (+938,000). Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in local government education, and in professional and business services. 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). Employment rose by 221,000 in local government education and by 40,000 in private education. Staffing fluctuations in education due to the pandemic have distorted the normal seasonal buildup and layoff patterns, likely contributing to the job gains in July. Without the typical seasonal employment increases earlier, there were fewer layoffs at the end of the school year, resulting in job gains after seasonal adjustment. These variations make it more challenging to discern the current employment trends in these education industries. 

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. Professional and technical services include 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). Employment in the management of companies and enterprises component was also little changed over the month (-3,000) as well.

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). The other services industry added 39,000 jobs, with gains in membership associations and organizations (+17,000) and in personal and laundry services (+15,000). Health care added 37,000 opportunities. 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. 

Employment in manufacturing increased by 27,000, largely in durable goods manufacturing. Within durable goods, job gains occurred in machinery (+7,000) and miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+6,000). Employment in information increased by 24,000 over the month, with three-quarters of the gain in motion picture and sound recording industries (+18,000). Employment in financial activities rose by 22,000 over the month, largely in real estate and rental and leasing (+18,000). Mining increased by 7,000, reflecting a gain in support activities for mining (+6,000). 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). For the month of July, employment showed little change in construction and wholesale trade.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents to $30.54, following increases in the prior 3 months. Average hourly earnings for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees also rose by 11 cents in July to $25.83. The data for recent months suggest that the rising demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put upward pressure on wages. However, because average hourly earnings vary widely across industries, the large employment fluctuations since February 2020 complicate the analysis of recent trends in average hourly earnings. 


Staff Solve continues to provide high-quality candidates and jobs in diverse markets for over 27 years. Let us take the stress off you so you can focus on your business by finding the perfect applicant for the position. If you are looking for employment, please visit our job seeker page. The July Employment Summary Report is part of a monthly series, letting readers know what is currently happening in the job market, available on our blog page along with other useful information. If you would like more information about the services we offer employers, visit our employer page or contact us today.

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