Transmission of material in this statement is embargoed until
8:30 a.m. (ET) August 6, 2021.
William W. Beach
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, August 6, 2021
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 943,000 in July,
and the unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point to 5.4
percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality,
in local government education, and in professional and business
Reflecting the initial impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic on the labor market, job losses totaled 22.4 million
during the February-April 2020 recession (-1.7 million in March
and -20.7 million in April). As economic activity resumed, job
gains in May through November totaled 12.6 million. Employment
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 4.3
million over the past 7 months. However, employment is down by
5.7 million, or 3.7 percent, from the pre-pandemic employment
peak in February 2020.
Strong job growth continued in leisure and hospitality,
which added 380,000 jobs in July. Employment gains continued in
food services and drinking places (+253,000); accommodation
(+74,000); and arts, entertainment, and recreation (+53,000).
Leisure and hospitality has added 2.1 million jobs since January
and accounts for about half of all nonfarm jobs added thus far
this year. However, employment in the industry is down by 1.7
million, or 10.3 percent, since February 2020.
Employment continued to increase in July in local
government education (+221,000) and private education (+40,000).
Pandemic-related staffing fluctuations in education have
distorted the normal seasonal buildup and layoff patterns,
likely contributing to the job gains in July. Without the
earlier typical seasonal employment increases, fewer layoffs at
the end of the school year can result in job gains after