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June Jobs Beat Expectations, With 850,000 Positions Added

  • 850,000 new jobs added in June, but jobs total remains well below pre-pandemic levels
  • Leisure and hospitality continues to lead the gains, with the sector gaining 343,000 positions
  • Average hourly wages increase as companies raise compensation in an attempt to attract workers

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The United States economy added 850,000 jobs in June, beating a Dow Jones forecast of 706,000. The leisure and hospitality sector continued to show the strongest growth, and wages were ticking up as businesses increased competition in an effort to attract workers.

June’s gains follow an upwardly revised increase of 583,000 jobs in May and downwardly revised gain of 269,000 jobs in April. The U.S. is still short 6.8 million jobs from February 2020, or down 4.4 percent from that month’s job total.

Despite the job gains, the unemployment rate remained relatively unchanged at 5.9 percent and the number of unemployed also held at 9.5 million. By comparison, February 2020 had an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent and 5.7 million were out of work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report also found:

  • 343,000 new jobs in leisure and hospitality, including 194,000 in food service and drinking establishments, 75,000 in accommodation, and 74,000 in arts and entertainment; the sector continues to claw its way back from serious losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, with its jobs total down 2.2 million, or 12.9 percent, from February 2020
  • Education also showed strong gains, with 155,000 new jobs in local government education, 75,000 in state government education, and 39,000 in private education; however, this may reflect a distortion in traditional seasonal fluctuations in educational hiring, since employment increases in the autumn of 2020 were less prominent due to remote learning
  • Other gains included 72,000 new jobs in professional and business services, 67,000 in retail, and 56,000 in other services
  • Construction was the only sector with a net loss of jobs, with positions down 7,000 compared to May
  • Industries with significant job losses included couriers and messengers (down 24,000), nonresidential specialty trade contractors (down 15,000), food and beverage stores (down 13,000), and motor vehicle and parts manufacturing (down 12,000)
  • Average hourly earnings increased 10 cents to $30.40, following a cumulative increase of 33 cents over the previous two months
  • The average work week fell 0.1 hours to 34.7 hours
  • More people were quitting their jobs, with 942,000 voluntarily departing in June – an increase of 164,000
  • With business restrictions eased and consumer behavior picking up, fewer people were working part-time due to economic conditions; 4.6 million people were in this situation, a reduction of 644,000

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