Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Economic News Release
CPS CPS Program Links
CES CES Program Links

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until	       USDL-20-1503
8:30 a.m. (ET) Friday, August 7, 2020

Technical information: 
 Household data:  *
 Establishment data:  *

Media contact:	      (202) 691-5902   *

                        THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JULY 2020

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.8 million in July, and the unemployment
rate fell to 10.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These
improvements in the labor market reflected the continued resumption of economic
activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and
efforts to contain it. In July, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality,
government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and 
health care.
This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey
measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics.
The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
For more information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two
surveys, see the Technical Note.

Household Survey Data

In July, the unemployment rate declined by 0.9 percentage point to 10.2 percent, and
the number of unemployed persons fell by 1.4 million to 16.3 million. Despite declines
over the past 3 months, these measures are up by 6.7 percentage points and 10.6 million,
respectively, since February. (See table A-1. For more information about how the
household survey and its measures were affected by the coronavirus pandemic, see the
box note at the end of this news release.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined in July for adult men
(9.4 percent), adult women (10.5 percent), teenagers (19.3 percent), Whites (9.2 percent),
Asians (12.0 percent), and Hispanics (12.9 percent). The jobless rate for Blacks (14.6
percent) showed little change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of unemployed persons who were on temporary layoff decreased by 1.3 million
in July to 9.2 million, about half its April level. In July, the number of permanent
job losers and the number of unemployed reentrants to the labor force were virtually
unchanged over the month, at 2.9 million and 2.4 million, respectively. (Reentrants
are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning
their job search.) (See table A-11.)

Among the unemployed, those who were jobless less than 5 weeks increased by 364,000 to
3.2 million in July, and the number of persons jobless 15 to 26 weeks rose by 4.6 million
to 6.5 million. By contrast, the number of unemployed persons who were jobless 5 to 14
weeks fell by 6.3 million to 5.2 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those
jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.5 million, was little changed over the month. (See
table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate, at 61.4 percent, changed little in July, following
increases in May and June. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, rose
by 1.4 million in July to 143.5 million. The employment-population ratio rose by 0.5
percentage point to 55.1 percent but remains lower than in February (61.1 percent).
(See table A-1.)

In July, the number of persons who usually work part time rose by 803,000 to 24.0 million,
while the number who usually work full time, at 119.5 million, was little changed. (See
table A-9.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 619,000 to 8.4 million in July, reflecting
a decline in the number of people whose hours were cut due to slack work or business
conditions (-658,000). The number of involuntary part-time workers is 4.1 million higher
than in February. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were
working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-
time jobs. This group includes persons who usually work full time and persons who usually
work part time. (See table A-8.)

In July, the number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job declined
by 463,000 to 7.7 million; this measure is 2.8 million higher than in February. These
individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for
work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job. (See table A-1.)

Among those not in the labor force who currently want a job, persons marginally attached
to the labor force fell by 492,000 to 2.0 million in July. These individuals were not
in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime
in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were
available for them, numbered 665,000 in July, essentially unchanged from the previous month.
(See Summary table A.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.8 million in July, less than the increases of
4.8 million in June and 2.7 million in May. In July, nonfarm employment was lower than
its February level by 12.9 million, or 8.4 percent. The largest employment increases in
July occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and
business services, other services, and health care. (See table B-1. For more information
about how the establishment survey and its measures were affected by the coronavirus
pandemic, see the box note at the end of this news release.)

Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 592,000, accounting for about one-third
of the gain in total nonfarm employment in July. Employment in food services and drinking
places rose by 502,000, following gains of 2.9 million in May and June combined. Despite
the gains over the last 3 months, employment in food services and drinking places is down
by 2.6 million since February. Over the month, employment also rose in amusements,
gambling, and recreation (+100,000). 

Government employment rose by 301,000 in July but is 1.1 million below its February level.
Typically, public-sector education employment declines in July (before seasonal adjustment).
However, employment declines occurred earlier than usual this year due to the pandemic,
resulting in unusually large July increases in local government education (+215,000) and
state government education (+30,000) after seasonal adjustment. A July job gain in federal
government (+27,000) reflected the hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census. 

In July, retail trade added 258,000 jobs. Employment in the industry is 913,000 lower than
in February. In July, nearly half of the job gain in retail trade occurred in clothing and
clothing accessories stores (+121,000). By contrast, the component of general merchandise
stores that includes warehouse clubs and supercenters lost jobs (-64,000). 

Employment in professional and business services increased in July (+170,000) but remains
1.6 million below its February level. The majority of July's gain occurred in temporary
help services (+144,000). 

In July, the other services industry added 149,000 jobs, with most of the increase occurring
in personal and laundry services (+119,000). Since February, employment in other services is
down by 627,000.

In July, health care added 126,000 jobs, with employment growth in offices of dentists
(+45,000), hospitals (+27,000), offices of physicians (+26,000), and home health care services
(+16,000). Job losses continued in nursing and residential care facilities (-28,000).
Employment in health care is down by 797,000 since February.

In July, employment in social assistance increased by 66,000, with child day care services
accounting for most of the gain (+45,000). Employment in social assistance is 460,000 lower
than in February. 

Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 38,000 in July, following an increase
of 87,000 in June. Despite job gains over the past 2 months, employment in the industry is
down by 470,000 since a recent peak in January. In July, employment rose in transit and
ground passenger transportation (+20,000), air transportation (+16,000), and couriers and
messengers (+9,000). 

Manufacturing employment increased by 26,000 in July. An employment gain in motor vehicles
and parts (+39,000) was partially offset by losses in fabricated metal products (-11,000),
machinery (-7,000), and computer and electronic products (-6,000). Although manufacturing
has added 623,000 jobs over the past 3 months, employment is 740,000 lower than in February.

Financial activities added 21,000 jobs in July, with most of the gain in real estate and
rental and leasing (+15,000). Since February, employment in financial activities is down
by 216,000.

In July, construction employment changed little (+20,000), following job gains of 619,000
in May and June combined. However, employment in the industry remains 444,000 below its 
February level. 

Mining continued to shed jobs in July (-7,000), reflecting a loss in support activities
for mining (-11,000). Mining has lost 127,000 jobs since a recent peak in January 2019,
although nearly three-fourths of this decline has occurred since February 2020.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
7 cents to $29.39, following large changes in recent months. Average hourly earnings of
private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees decreased by 11 cents to $24.63
in July. The large employment fluctuations--especially in lower-paid industries--over the
past several months complicate the analysis of recent trends in average hourly earnings.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour
to 34.5 hours in July. In manufacturing, the workweek rose by 0.7 hour to 39.7 hours,
and overtime increased by 0.3 hour to 2.8 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.0 hours. (See
tables B-2 and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised up by 26,000, from
+2,699,000 to +2,725,000, and the change for June was revised down by 9,000, from
+4,800,000 to +4,791,000. With these revisions, employment in May and June combined
was 17,000 higher than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional
reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) 

The Employment Situation for August is scheduled to be released on
Friday, September 4, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

|										   |
|        Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on July 2020 Establishment 		   |
|                       and Household Survey Data				   |
|										   |
| Data collection for both surveys was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19)	   |
| pandemic. In the establishment survey, approximately one-fifth of the		   |
| establishments are assigned to four regional data collection centers for	   |
| collection. Although these centers were closed, interviewers at these centers	   |
| worked remotely to collect data by telephone. Additionally, BLS encouraged	   |
| businesses to report electronically. The collection rate for the establishment   |
| survey--which had a longer-than-average collection period in July--was 78	   |
| percent, higher than the average for the 12 months ending in February 2020.	   |
| The household survey is generally conducted through in-person and telephone	   |
| interviews. However, for the safety of both interviewers and respondents, the	   |
| vast majority of interviews were done by telephone, with in-person interviews	   |
| conducted on an extremely limited basis in some areas of the country. The	   |
| household survey response rate was 67 percent, up from the rate of 65 percent	   |
| in June but much lower than the average rate of 83 percent for the 12 months	   |
| prior to the pandemic.							   |
|										   |
| In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all	   |
| or any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as	   |
| employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are	   |
| temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs and are not being paid are	   |
| not counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits.	   |
|										   |
| In the household survey, individuals are classified as employed, unemployed,	   |
| or not in the labor force based on their answers to a series of questions	   |
| about their activities during the survey reference week (July 12th through	   |
| July 18th). Workers who indicate they were not working during the entire	   |
| survey reference week and expect to be recalled to their jobs should be 	   |
| classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. As in recent months, a large	   |
| number of persons were classified as unemployed on temporary layoff in July.	   |
|										   |
| Since March, household survey interviewers have been instructed to classify	   |
| employed persons absent from work due to temporary, coronavirus-related	   |
| business closures or cutbacks as unemployed on temporary layoff. BLS and	   |
| Census Bureau analyses of the underlying data suggest that this group still	   |
| may include some workers affected by the pandemic who should have been	   |
| classified as unemployed on temporary layoff.					   |
|										   |
| The share of responses that may have been misclassified was much smaller in	   |
| June and July than in prior months. 						   |
|										   |
| For March through June, BLS published an estimate of what the unemployment	   |
| rate would have been had misclassified workers been included. Repeating this	   |
| same approach, the overall July unemployment rate would have been about 1	   |
| percentage point higher than reported. However, this represents the upper	   |
| bound of our estimate of misclassification and probably overstates the size	   |
| of the misclassification error.						   |
|										   |
| According to usual practice, the data from the household survey are accepted	   |
| as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to	   |
| reclassify survey responses.							   |
|										   |
| More information is available at						   |
|		   |

|										   |
|     2020 Preliminary Benchmark Revision to Establishment Survey Data 		   |
|                       to be released on August 19, 2020			   |
|										   |
| Each year, the establishment survey estimates are benchmarked to comprehensive   |
| counts of employment from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)	   |
| for the month of March. These counts are derived from state unemployment	   |
| insurance (UI) tax records that nearly all employers are required to file. On	   |
| August 19, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET), BLS will release the preliminary estimate   |
| of the upcoming annual benchmark revision. This is the same day that the first-  |
| quarter 2020 data from QCEW will be issued. Preliminary benchmark revisions for  |
| all major industry sectors, as well as total nonfarm and total private           |
| employment, will be available at	   |
|										   |
| The final benchmark revision will be issued with the publication of the January  |
| 2021 Employment Situation news release in February 2021.			   |

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: August 07, 2020