In recent months, the U.S. has been seeing a steady climb of new jobs being added back as the nation continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest jobs report shows that this recovery seems to not only be on track but making better progress than expected.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs in July. This was the largest monthly gain since August of 2020, where the U.S. added over 1 million positions back, which was well over the 870,000 anticipated by experts. The country’s unemployment rate also fell to 5.4%, a new low for the pandemic era.
During March and April of last year, the U.S. lost 22 million jobs. Since then, the country has managed to bring back 16.7 million. Still, this is 5.7 million jobs short of the pre-pandemic levels. While President Biden touted the success of his recovery policies, he also added that “we doubtlessly will have ups and downs along the way as we continue to battle the Delta surge of Covid.”
Of those added, the large majority were in the hospitality and leisure sectors, which were some of the hardest hit by Covid. Jobs in these sectors made up about 1/3rd of the recovered jobs, with 253,000 jobs coming from restaurants and bars alone. While this signals good news for the industry, they are still down 1.7 million jobs since February of last year.
As for manufacturing, employment numbers rose by 27,000 in July. This was mainly driven by an increase in durable goods manufacturing employment, with 7,000 new jobs in machinery and 6,000 in miscellaneous durable goods. Across the entire manufacturing sector, employment is still around 433,000 below its February 2020 levels.