NEW YORK — Even in a July job report that was nearly universally hailed as good, pockets ofthe celebration. The numbers in the report were undoubtedly strong, with employers adding 943,000 more jobs to their payrolls than they cut, a better hiring . The also dropped in another encouraging sign, down by half a percentage from June to 5.4%. And many economists expect further improvements.
The unemployment rate fell for many groups nationwide, but not for all the right reasons. For example, the decline among Black workers may have been entirely due to people dropping out of the workforce rather than more people getting jobs. There’s growing concern that the broad strength in the July jobsmay prove fleeting. The faster-spreading of the coronavirus is causing people to mask up and feel more anxious again, threatening the improvements. “ , but the delta variant is casting a significant shadow over the outlook at this time,” said Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise. Here are five takeaways from the July jobs report:
The strong numbers in Friday’s report come from surveys done during the second week of July. That means they don’t fully reflect the ramp-up in worries about the delta variant. Until July 27, the Centers for Disease Control changed its , for example. It asked all Americans in high or substantial transmission areas to again indoors, even if they’re vaccinated. If case counts worsen, returning to stores, restaurants, and other businesses.
That could hit the number of jobs being offered. Declining trends could also discourage potential workers from filling those . Beth Ann Bovino, the chief U.S. economist at S&P Global Ratings, pointed to a recent report from LinkedIn that said hiring was 5.8% lower than in June. The information examines how many users add new employers to their profiles throughout the month. Bovino noted it might reflect some of the delta effects the report may have missed.
WIDESPREAD, BUT NOT UNIFORM, GAINS
Americans of many types gotin July. For example, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.6% from 7.4% in June for Latino people. For , it fell to 5.3% from 5.8%, and for white workers, it sank to 4.8% from 5.2%. The rate also dropped for Black Americans, down to 8.2% from 9.2%. But the improvement for workers didn’t come because many more got jobs. Employment numbers for the group were nearly unchanged from June. Instead, much of it was due to Black people dropping out of the workforce. Last month, 60.8% of all Black Americans were in the labor force, down from 61.6% in June. Ameriprise’s Price said he was puzzled by the diverging trends and couldn’t immediately think of an explanation.
LESS SUPPORT FROM THE FED?
Even with the pockets of concern, July’s jobs report was strong enough that investors saw it as another interest rates at a record low of nearly zero to juice the economy after it fell into its coronavirus-caused recession. The has also been buying $120 billion in bonds every month to help keep longer-term rates low. The moves have made it cheaper to borrow money, and prices across the housing and stock markets have jumped.that the time may be nearing for the Federal Reserve to pare back its support for the economy. The Fed kept short-term
With July’s substantial job numbers, investors are preparing for the interest rates. Such expectations helped send the yield on the 10-year Treasury up to 1.28% from 1.21% late Thursday. That’s a significant move for the bond market.that it will slow its bond purchases in the upcoming months. That would be the first step before it raises
BOUNCEBACK, BUT NOT FULL RECOVERY
Some of the strongest gains in jobs last month came from the areas that were hardestthe leisure and hospitality industries. They accounted for 40% of the nation’s job growth last month, with particularly strong gains for food back into restaurants and bars. Even with the payments, though, the number of jobs in the leisure and hospitality industries remains 10% below where they were in February 2020, before the crashed the economy. Higher to industries that tend to have some of the lowest-paying jobs. According to preliminary figures, leisure and made an average of $18.55 per hour last month. That’s up 0.9% from June. Among all private-sector workers, average hourly earnings rose 0.4% to $30.54.
MORE PEOPLE AT WORK
Not only were more people working last month, but more were at work as well. Only 13.2% of employed people teleworked in July because of the pandemic. That’s down from 14.4% in June. In May 2020, more than one out of every three workers, or 35.4%, were teleworking. The at some point in the last four weeks, specifically because of the pandemic. workers were the most likely, at 30.1% of their total workers. That compares with 12.3% for white workers, 10.8% for Black workers, and 8% for Latino workers. Of course, the delta variant may be upending things here as well. Several big employers have already pushed back their return-to-office dates because of worries about the delta variant. to January from September.