The economy added 850,000 jobs in June, a better than expected gain amid an economy recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic. Economists see this as a strong sign that the economy continues to recover despite a couple of bumpy jobs reports.
Major takeaways from the June Jobs Report:
- Hospitality and leisure continued to rebound, with an addition of 343,000 jobs.
- Education gained new positions, but the sector is a little hard to judge as the return to in-person learning has taken a bit of time.
- Other strong job gains were distributed through professional and business services and retail and wholesale sales.
Major Gains in Hospitality, Food Service
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased again in June, by 343,000, as pandemic-related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country.
Major winners were:
- Food services and drinking places, which rose by 194,000 jobs.
- Accommodation, with a gain of 75,000 jobs
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation with a gain of 74,000 jobs.
Employment in leisure and hospitality still has a way to go as it is down by 2.2 million, or 12.9 percent, from its level in February 2020.
Education Sector Gains
Education continues to be an area of growth as the return to in-person learning continues across the country.
- Local government education saw employment rise by 155,000 jobs.
- State government education added 75,000 jobs.
- Private education added 39,000 jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in both public and private education, staffing fluctuations due to the pandemic, in part reflecting the return to in-person learning and other school-related activities, have distorted
the normal seasonal buildup and layoff patterns, likely contributing to the job gains in June.
Since February 2020, employment is down by 414,000 in local government education, by 168,000 in state government education, and by 255,000 in private education.
Gains in Other Key Sectors
- Professional and business services: this rose by 72,000 jobs in June, including temporary help services (+33,000), advertising and related services (+8,000), scientific research and development services (+7,000), and legal services (+6,000).
- Retail trade added a strong 67,000 jobs in June, but employment is down by 303,000, or 1.9
percent, since February 2020. Big winners were clothing and accessories stores (+28,000), general merchandise stores (+25,000), miscellaneous store retailers (+13,000), and automobile dealers (+8,000).
- Wholesale trade added 21,000 jobs, with gains in both the durable and nondurable goods components (+14,000 and +9,000, respectively). Employment in wholesale trade is 192,000 lower than in February 2020.
Other Trends to Watch
- Wages have hit a new record high of $30.40 per hour, up from $29.35 a year ago and $28.51 pre-pandemic.
- New research out of Iceland shows that cutting working hours does not affect worker productivity, and employees reported a better work-life balance.
- Kickstarter is experimenting with a four-day workweek and some other Silicon Valley companies are following suit.
- Some companies are also experimenting with giving employees entire days or weeks off, as a way of combatting widespread reports of “burnout.” Read more about non-monetary ways of ensuring employee happiness.