The numbers are in, and they continue to look great. According to the U.S. Labor Department, employers hired the most workers in nearly a year in July 2021 and continued to raise wages, thus giving the economy a notable, sustained boost as it started the second half of what many economists predict will be the best year for economic growth in nearly four decades.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing industry increased by 20,000+ in July, with machinery accounting for 7,000 of the gain. Overall, manufacturing has added 952,000 jobs since an employment decrease in April 2020. However, employment is 433,000 below its February 2020 level, so it’s slower growth but growth nonetheless.
In the Education and Health Services industries, private educational industries increased by 40,000+ in July. The report confirms that weaker hiring during the former school year likely contributed to fewer seasonal layoffs in July and resulted in the job gain after seasonal adjustment. In July, health care added 37,000 jobs after changing little over the prior three months. Job gains in ambulatory health care (32,000+) and hospitals (18,000+) overtook the offset in loss of nursing and residential care facility jobs (-13,000).
The leisure and hospitality industries added 253,000 jobs in July, signaling the sustained return of American travel. Since April 2020, employment in this sector has risen by five million. However, it is still 970,000 lower than its peak in February 2020. Elsewhere in leisure and hospitality, accommodation (74,000+) and amusements, gambling, and recreation (40,000+) also reported increased jobs in July.
While the increase in employment is undoubtedly fantastic news for the U.S. labor force, we also must acknowledge the obstacles in a shifting, unprecedented work economy. For instance, roughly 1 in 3 workers back in the workplace said the return-to-office reality has negatively impacted their mental health, according to a June McKinsey survey. With the Delta variant sweeping through the nation, this is a time for companies to be strategic and effective when hiring new employees and rolling out any “return to the office” plans to their employees.
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