On August 7th 2020 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that July Non-Farm Payroll Employment rose by 1.763 million new jobs and the unemployment rate fell by 0.9% to 10.2% (see full release here).
Both the job gains and the unemployment rate drop were better than forecasted. July represents the third 1 million+ job gain in as many months as the economy continues to recover from the March & April COVID-19 related business shutdowns.
New jobs in the Leisure & Hospitality accounted for about 1/3 of the gains for July and Government and Retail Trade respectively saw the next biggest job gains.
Net revisions to the May & June numbers increased employment in those months by 17,000. Average hourly earnings for all employees increased $0.07 to $29.39. The average workweek for all employees declined by 0.1 hours, however Manufacturing hours increased by 0.7.
Total employment gains from May, June and July were 9.34 million, recouping over 40% of the 22 million job losses reported in March & April. Even with the solid job gains, the slight decline in the average workweek shows that employers continue a balancing act between re-hiring employees and managing hours worked. Overall the numbers looked solid and indicate that the economy continues to heal.
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