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Economics & Job Creation
“The Employment Situation – July 2023”
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 187,000 in July, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and wholesale trade. 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 Both the unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 5.8 million, changed little in July. The unemployment rate has ranged from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent since March 2022. (See table A-1.) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians declined to 2.3 percent in July. The jobless rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks (5.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 175,000 to 667,000 in July. The number of permanent job losers changed little at 1.4 million. (See table A-11.) The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in July and accounted for 19.9 percent of all unemployed persons. (See table A-12.) The labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent for the fifth consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 60.4 percent, remained little changed in July. (See table A-1.) The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.0 million, changed little in July. 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. (See table A-8.) The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.2 million in July, little changed from the prior month. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. (See table A-1.) Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in July. These individuals 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. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, changed little at 335,000 in July. (See Summary table A.) Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 187,000 in July, less than the average monthly gain of 312,000 over the prior 12 months. In July, job gains occurred in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and wholesale trade. (See table B-1.) In July, health care added 63,000 jobs, compared with the average monthly gain of 51,000 in the prior 12 months. Over the month, job growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (+35,000), hospitals (+16,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+12,000). Social assistance added 24,000 jobs in July, in line with the average monthly gain of 23,000 in the prior 12 months. Individual and family services added 19,000 jobs over the month. Employment in financial activities increased by 19,000 in July. The industry had added an average of 16,000 jobs per month in the second quarter of the year, after employment was essentially flat in the first quarter. Over the month, a job gain in real estate and rental and leasing (+12,000) was partially offset by a loss in commercial banking (-3,000). In July, employment in wholesale trade increased by 18,000, after showing little net change in recent months. Employment in the other services industry continued to trend up in July (+20,000), compared with the average monthly gain of 15,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment in personal and laundry services continued to trend up over the month (+11,000). Employment in other services remains below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 53,000, or 0.9 percent. Construction employment continued to trend up in July (+19,000), in line with the average monthly gain of 17,000 in the prior 12 months. Over the month, job growth occurred in residential specialty trade contractors (+13,000) and in nonresidential building construction (+11,000). In July, employment in leisure and hospitality was little changed (+17,000). The industry has shown little employment change in recent months, following average monthly gains of 67,000 in the first quarter of the year. Employment in leisure and hospitality remains below its February 2020 level by 352,000, or 2.1 percent. Employment in professional and business services changed little in July (-8,000). Monthly job growth in the industry had averaged 38,000 in the prior 12 months. Employment in temporary help services continued to trend down over the month (-22,000) and is down by 205,000 since its peak in March 2022. Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services continued to trend up in July (+24,000). Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; retail trade; transportation and warehousing; information; and government. In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 14 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $33.74. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.4 percent. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 13 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $28.96. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 34.3 hours in July. In manufacturing, the average workweek remained unchanged at 40.1 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.) The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised down by 25,000, from +306,000 to +281,000, and the change for June was revised down by 24,000, from +209,000 to +185,000. With these revisions, employment in May and June combined is 49,000 lower 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.)