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August Employment Outlook

August 10, 2020
min read
Michael Vaynerman

Just a few short months ago, we were at one of the lowest unemployment rates in U.S. history, and employers struggled to recruit new workers. Now, that reality seems so far away. 

Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out the latest employment statistics, giving all of us a clearer lens into the hiring and job markets across the country. Before the pandemic, these stats were important to keep tabs on which industries were growing, which were declining, and which positions would be most difficult to hire for. Now, that importance is even higher as millions of Americans are searching for new jobs. 

These were a few of our key takeaways from the latest numbers (published in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ news release on Friday, August 7th). 

  1. The unemployment rate is moving in the right direction. In April, we saw a huge peak in the unemployment rate - 14.7%. Thankfully, it has decreased over the last few months, landing at 10.2% in July. While we’re still far from February’s 3.5% unemployment rate, it is exciting to see these numbers decline. 
  1. The number of “involuntary part-time workers” decreased by more than 600,000. This decline is closely linked to decreases in the number of people whose hours were cut by their employers. While still more than double the numbers in February (8.4 million in July), this could indicate that companies have more work available for their employees. 
  1. The hospitality industry is making positive strides. Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs of any industry in the month of July, accounting for approximately one-third of the non-farm job gains. This could be a good sign for hospitality rebounding - or a simple indication of more states relaxing their stay-at-home policies. 
  1. The number of people in temporary layoffs is decreasing. In July alone, this went down by 1.3 million - bringing the number of people in temporary layoffs to about half the number it was in April. As so many hospitality companies furloughed employees, we think this could be closely related to the gain in hospitality employment. 

All in all, while we’re still nowhere close to pre-COVID employment numbers, the growth in employment is encouraging to businesses and workers alike. Check out the infographic below for more of the numbers:

Looking to talk to a staffing expert? Get in touch with one of our local Account Executives here.

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