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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Transmission of material in this statement is embargoed until 
8:30 a.m. (ET) July 2, 2021.

                            Statement of

                          William W. Beach
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                        Friday, July 2, 2021

      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 850,000 in June, and the 
unemployment rate changed little at 5.9 percent. Notable job 
gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, public and private 
education, professional and business services, retail trade, and 
other services.
      Substantial job losses related to the coronavirus (COVID-
19) pandemic first occurred in March (-1.7 million) and April 
(-20.7 million) of 2020. As economic activity resumed, 
employment increased by 12.6 million from May through November 
but declined again in December (-306,000) following a surge in 
the number of coronavirus cases. Job growth restarted in January 
of this year, and nonfarm payroll employment has increased by 
3.3 million over the past 6 months as the number of vaccinations 
has increased, the number of coronavirus cases has fallen, and 
pandemic-related restrictions have been relaxed. Overall, 
nonfarm payroll employment is up by 15.6 million since April 
2020. However, employment is down by 6.8 million, or 4.4 
percent, from the pre-pandemic employment peak in February 2020.
      Leisure and hospitality added 343,000 jobs in June as 
pandemic-related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of 
the country. Job gains continued in food services and drinking 
places (+194,000); accommodation (+75,000); and arts, 
entertainment, and recreation (+74,000). Leisure and hospitality 
has added 1.6 million jobs since January and accounts for about 
half of all the jobs added thus far this year. However, 
employment in the industry is down by 2.2 million, or 12.9 
percent, since February 2020. 
      In June, employment increased in local government education 
(+155,000), state government education (+75,000), and private 
education (+39,000). In both public and private education, 
staffing fluctuations due to the pandemic, in part reflecting 
the return to in-person learning and other school-related 
activities, have distorted the normal seasonal buildup and 
layoff patterns, likely contributing to the job gains in June. 
(Without the typical seasonal employment increases earlier, 
there were fewer layoffs at the end of the school year, 
resulting in job gains after seasonal adjustment.) These 
variations make it more challenging to discern the current 
employment trends in these industries. Since February 2020, 
employment is down by 414,000 in local government education, by 
168,000 in state government education, and by 255,000 in private 
      Professional and business services added 72,000 jobs in 
June, including 33,000 jobs in temporary help services. 
Employment is down by 633,000 in professional and business 
services since February 2020. 
      Employment in retail trade rose by 67,000 in June. Notable 
job gains in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+28,000) 
and general merchandise stores (+25,000) more than offset job 
losses in food and beverage stores (-13,000) and health and 
personal care stores (-7,000). Employment in retail trade is 
down by 303,000, or 1.9 percent, since February 2020.
      In June, the other services industry added 56,000 jobs, 
with gains in personal and laundry services (+29,000), in 
membership associations and organizations (+18,000), and in 
repair and maintenance (+9,000). Since February 2020, employment 
is down by 297,000 in other services.
      Social assistance employment increased by 32,000 in June, 
largely in child day care services (+25,000). Employment in 
social assistance is 236,000 lower than in February 2020.
      In June, wholesale trade added 21,000 jobs, with gains in 
both durable goods (+14,000) and nondurable goods (+9,000). 
Since February 2020, employment in wholesale trade is down by 
      In June, employment in mining rose by 10,000, reflecting 
job growth in support activities for mining (+10,000). Mining 
employment is down by 110,000 since a peak in January 2019. 
      Employment in manufacturing changed little in June 
(+15,000) and has shown little net movement since March. 
Employment in manufacturing is 481,000 below the February 2020 
      Employment in transportation and warehousing also was 
little changed in June (+11,000). Employment in couriers and 
messengers fell by 24,000 over the month but is up by 117,000 
since February 2020. Warehousing and storage (+14,000), air 
transportation (+8,000), and truck transportation (+6,000) added 
jobs over the month. Overall, employment in transportation and 
warehousing is 94,000 lower than in February 2020.
      Construction employment was about unchanged in June 
(-7,000) and has shown little net change thus far this year. In 
June, nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-15,000) and 
heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000) lost jobs, 
while residential specialty trade contractors (+13,000) gained 
jobs. Employment in construction is down by 238,000 since 
February 2020.
      Employment in other major industries--including 
information, financial activities, and health care--showed 
little change over the month.
      In June, the average workweek for all private-sector 
workers declined by 0.1 hour to 34.7 hours. The average workweek 
for manufacturing decreased by 0.2 hour to 40.2 hours.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls increased by 10 cents to $30.40 in June, following 
increases of 13 cents in May and 20 cents in April. The data for 
recent months suggest that the rising demand for labor 
associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put 
upward pressure on wages. However, because average hourly 
earnings vary widely across industries, the large employment 
fluctuations since February 2020 complicate the analysis of 
trends in average hourly earnings. 
      Turning to the labor market indicators from the household 
survey, both the unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, and the 
number of unemployed people, at 9.5 million, changed little in 
June. These measures have fallen from their April 2020 peaks but 
remain well above their February 2020 levels (3.5 percent and 
5.7 million, respectively).
      In June, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.9 
percent), adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (9.9 percent), 
Whites (5.2 percent), Blacks (9.2 percent), Asians (5.8 
percent), and Hispanics (7.4 percent) showed little or no 
      Among the unemployed, the number of job leavers increased 
by 164,000 in June to 942,000. The number of people on temporary 
layoff, at 1.8 million, was essentially unchanged over the 
month. This measure is down considerably from a high of 18.0 
million in April 2020 but is 1.1 million higher than in February 
2020. The number of permanent job losers, at 3.2 million, was 
essentially unchanged in June but is 1.9 million higher than in 
February 2020. 
      The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more (often 
referred to as the long-term unemployed) increased by 233,000 in 
June to 4.0 million. This measure is up by 2.9 million since 
February 2020. In June, the long-term unemployed accounted for 
42.1 percent of the unemployed. The number of people unemployed 
for less than 5 weeks was little changed over the month at 2.0 
      Both the labor force participation rate, at 61.6 percent, 
and the employment-population ratio, at 58.0 percent, were 
unchanged in June. The participation rate has remained within a 
narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020. 
The participation rate and the employment-population ratio are 
1.7 percentage points and 3.1 percentage points lower, 
respectively, than they were in February 2020. 
      In June, the number of people who were working part time 
for economic reasons decreased by 644,000 to 4.6 million, 
reflecting a decline in the number of people whose hours were 
cut due to slack work or business conditions. The number of 
people working part time for economic reasons is down from a 
peak of 10.9 million in April 2020. There were 4.4 million 
people affected by this type of underemployment in February 
      The number of people not in the labor force who currently 
want a job, at 6.4 million, changed little in June. This measure 
is down from a peak of 9.9 million in April 2020 but is 1.4 
million higher than in February 2020. Among those not in the 
labor force who wanted a job, the number of people marginally 
attached to the labor force was little changed at 1.8 million in 
June. (People who are marginally attached to the labor force had 
not actively looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey 
but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a 
job within the last 12 months.) The number of discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, was essentially unchanged over 
the month at 617,000. 
      As in previous months, some workers affected by the 
pandemic who should have been classified as unemployed on 
temporary layoff in June were instead misclassified as employed 
but not at work. Since March 2020, BLS has published an estimate 
of what the unemployment rate would have been had misclassified 
workers been included among the unemployed. Repeating this same 
approach, the seasonally adjusted June unemployment rate would 
have been 0.2 percentage point higher than reported. Additional 
information about the misclassification, as well as information 
about response rates for both the household and establishment 
surveys, is available on the BLS website at
      Looking at supplemental pandemic-related measures from the 
household survey (these supplemental data are not seasonally 
adjusted), the share of employed people who teleworked in June 
because of the coronavirus pandemic declined by 2.2 percentage 
points to 14.4 percent. These data refer only to employed people 
who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the 
last 4 weeks specifically because of the pandemic; they do not 
include all instances of telework.
      In June, the number of people who reported that they had 
been unable to work because their employer closed or lost 
business due to the pandemic--that is, they did not work at all 
or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to 
the pandemic--fell by 1.7 million to 6.2 million. Among those 
who reported in June that they were unable to work because of 
pandemic-related closures or lost business, 10.0 percent 
received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not 
worked, little changed from the prior month.
      Among those not in the labor force in June, 1.6 million 
people were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic, 
down from 2.5 million in the prior month. (To be counted as 
unemployed, by definition, individuals must either be actively 
searching for work or on temporary layoff.)
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 850,000 in 
June, and the unemployment rate changed little at 5.9 percent.

Last Modified Date: July 02, 2021