facebook linkedin twitter

Employers Added 943,000 in July in Sign Economy Will Weather Delta Variant

August 6, 2021 by Victoria Turner
A shopper passes a hiring sign while entering a retail store in Morton Grove, Ill., Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Despite an uptick in COVID-19 cases and a shortage of available workers, the U.S. economy likely enjoyed a burst of job growth last month as it bounces back with surprising vigor from last year’s coronavirus shutdown. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Employers added 943,000 jobs in July and drove the unemployment rate down by 5.4%, with leisure and hospitality, local government, education and business services leading in the hiring, the Labor Department said Friday.

In remarks delivered at the White House, President Joe Biden said the report is a clear sign that the economy will weather the pandemic — and the delta variant surge in some communities — crediting in part his administration’s efforts to encourage workers to get coronavirus vaccinations.

“We will doubtless have ups and downs along the way as we continue to battle the delta surge of COVID,” Biden said Friday morning, reiterating his contention that at this point the coronavirus is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“What is indisputable now is the Biden plan is working, the Biden plan produces results, and the Biden plan is moving the country forward,” he said.

Leisure and hospitality businesses, which were hit hard by lockdowns last year, added 380,000 jobs, with about two-thirds of the job gains — 253,000 added — being at food services and drinking establishments. Employment also continued to increase in accommodation, with 74,000 new hires, and in arts, entertainment, and recreation, where 53,000 jobs were added.

The education sector also did well, though the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics noted staffing fluctuations due to the pandemic have distorted its normal seasonal buildup and layoff patterns.

Instead of letting teachers go as they have in the past, schools kept more workers on the payroll, creating a larger seasonal adjustment upward in the number of teaching jobs.

Local government added at total 221,000 education jobs, after a jump in June, while 40,000 jobs were added in private education. 

Manufacturing and construction showed more modest increases, hampered by higher goods prices and the ongoing shortage of semiconductors and other components. Employment in manufacturing increased by 27,000 in July, largely in durable goods manufacturing.

Within durable goods, the biggest job gains occurred in machinery — up 7,000 jobs — and miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing, up 6,000 new hires. 

Meanwhile, hiring in the construction and wholesale trade sectors was flat. 

Employment in professional and business services jumped by 60,000, a sign that the white-collar sector is on the upswing.

Adding to the good news in Friday’s report: Upward revisions for May and June rounded out the positive picture, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics lifting the gain for May by 31,000 and the increase in June by 88,000.

“Today’s jobs report is decisive proof that Democrats’ Build Back Better economy is working,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.  “Under President Biden and the Democratic Majorities in Congress, millions of good-paying jobs have been created, paychecks are surging, the economy is growing at the fastest rate in nearly forty years and the share of Americans living in poverty is set to reach the lowest level on record.

“Now, we must sustain this growth and ensure that all can share in its benefits, by passing transformative infrastructure and reconciliation bills that truly meet families’ needs,” she said.

Despite the hiring gains, many managers report difficulty in finding applicants for open positions. 

A recent survey of 230 human resource executives by the Conference Board found that companies are finding it increasingly difficult to hire qualified workers.

This was particularly true for companies seeking industrial or manual services workers. Eighty percent of such companies reported it was “somewhat” or “very” difficult to find qualified workers, compared to 74% who expressed that opinion in polling before the pandemic.

Among companies with professional or office workforces, the numbers are 60% and 59% respectively.

“Before the pandemic, industry and manual services workers were high in demand and short in supply,” said Frank Steemers, a co-author of the survey report and senior economist at the board, in a written statement. “While this changed at the onset of the pandemic, as the economy reopens this trend is resurfacing – and fast.”

Economy

October 26, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Consumer Confidence Grew in October as Concerns Over Delta Variant Eased

NEW YORK — Consumer confidence grew in October, reversing three month of declines due to concerns over the spread of... Read More

NEW YORK — Consumer confidence grew in October, reversing three month of declines due to concerns over the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. The not-for-profit, non advocacy think tank said its proprietary Consumer Confidence Index currently stands at... Read More

US Jobless Claims Fall to New Pandemic Low of 290,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted, evidence that layoffs are declining as companies hold onto workers. Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop, the... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Congress Tries to Intervene In Supply Chain Disruptions

WASHINGTON -- While economists warned about disruptions to the U.S. supply chain, Chuck Fowke told a congressional panel Wednesday about... Read More

WASHINGTON -- While economists warned about disruptions to the U.S. supply chain, Chuck Fowke told a congressional panel Wednesday about countertops. “If you can’t get the cabinets, you can’t put the countertops on,” Fowke said as he testified on behalf of the National Association of Home... Read More

Commerce Head Out to Save US Jobs, 1 Computer Chip at a Time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gina Raimondo only wears watches made by Bulova — a company that laid off her scientist father,... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gina Raimondo only wears watches made by Bulova — a company that laid off her scientist father, closed its Rhode Island factory and moved production to China in 1983. The watches give Raimondo, the U.S. commerce secretary, a sense of mission as President... Read More

October 14, 2021
by Dan McCue
White House Action on Supply Chain Bottleneck Seen As First Step To Ending Crisis

WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a... Read More

WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a tropical storm during hurricane season. We refer, of course, to the daily television news footage of a reporter bobbing up and down in a decidedly modest... Read More

US Wholesale Prices Rose Record 8.6% Over 12 Months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.6% in September compared to a year ago, the largest advance... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.6% in September compared to a year ago, the largest advance since the 12-month change was first calculated in 2010. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the monthly increase in its producer price index, which measures inflationary... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top