Today’s jobs report showed the strongest increase in job growth so far in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages accelerated further in June, as nonfarm payroll employment increased by 850,000 in June. This is well above the average of the previous three months and a sign that companies, including advertising and marketing agencies, may be having an easier time filling open jobs.
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 850,000 in June, after an upwardly revised increase of 583,000 in May. The published unemployment rate ticked up from 5.8 to 5.9 percent, and the true rate, after adjusting for the misclassification error, remained at 6.1 percent in June. The labor force participation rate also held steady in June, at 61.6 percent.
The number of jobs is still 6.8 million below February 2020 levels, with women representing 56 percent of these employment losses.
In June, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 343,000, as pandemic-related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country. Over half of the job gain was in food services and drinking places (+194,000). Employment also continued to increase in accommodation (+75,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+74,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 2.2 million, or 12.9 percent, from its level in February 2020.
Employment in professional and business services rose by 72,000 in June but is down by 633,000 since February 2020. In June, employment rose in temporary help services (+33,000), advertising and related services (+8,000), scientific research and development services (+7,000), and legal services (+6,000).
Speaking at the White House, President Joe Biden touted the job gains and suggested that his economic policies, including a $1.9 trillion economic relief plan that was enacted in March, were intended to make it easier for workers to find higher-paying jobs.
“The strength of our recovery is helping us flip the script,” Biden said. “Instead of workers competing with each other for jobs that are scarce, employers are competing with each other to attract workers.”
Unemployment Rate Remains Steady
Both the unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 9.5 million, were little changed in June. These measures are down considerably from their recent highs in April 2020 but remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020). table A-1.
Among the major worker groups, 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 change in June. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)