Bureau of Labor Statistics
The US economy added many more jobs than expected last month and there was an appetite for labor, particularly in the service sector, which is struggling with labor shortages.
The leisure and hospitality sector saw the largest job growth with 96,000 jobs added in July, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, led by strong expansion in hospitality.
As the economy began to reopen, restaurants and airlines have been scrambling to replenish their ranks. The 2020 Covid-triggered lockdowns had resulted in massive layoffs and furloughs for chefs, waiters and other service staff.
Meanwhile, professional and business services employment continued to rise, rising from 89,000 in July. Within the industry, job growth has been widespread in business and enterprise management, architectural and engineering services, and scientific research and development.
“It’s not just a strong headline number that underscores the health of the job market – the growth has been general and not confined to one or two sectors,” said Mike Loewengart, E-Trade’s managing director of investment strategy.
The healthcare industry also saw robust job growth last month, with 70,000 new hires. Manufacturing industries also posted solid gains, with construction up 32k and manufacturing up 30k.
The unemployment rate fell back to its pre-pandemic level of 3.5% in July, below a Dow Jones estimate of 3.6% and the lowest level since 1969.
“The economy is clearly in full swing as this morning’s jobs report showed growth across all sectors,” said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management at Commonwealth Financial Network. “Strong job growth and moderating price inflation should help extend the current recovery rally into the end of the year.”