More Americans Return to Work as Job Growth Increases in June and Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop

JOB GROWTH: Job creation in June reached 4.8 million, significantly higher than the record growth of 2.7 million seen the previous month as economic activity accelerated and more people got back to work.

TOP INDUSTRIES: As was the case last month, the most significant job growth in June came from the leisure and hospitality sector. Also repeating last month’s trends, there were solid gains recorded in retail trade, education and health services, other services, manufacturing, and professional and business services.

UNEMPLOYMENT: Accompanying the surge in job creation, the unemployment rate dropped another two + percentage points in June, decreasing from 13.3% to 11.1%.
WAGES: Average hourly earnings dropped further in June. As was the case last month, continued downward pressure on wages can be attributed to the return to work of many lower-paid workers in the leisure and hospitality sector. 
WORK WEEK: The average work week decreased in June to 34.5 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary help sector rebounded somewhat with an increase of 39,100 jobs in May.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? The latest monthly snapshot of the labor market offers significant optimism about the speed of economic recovery. It reports people returning to work in record numbers and unemployment heading in the right direction. Clouding this picture, however, is more recent news about spikes in virus cases, which have led some employers to delay or even reverse hiring decisions. Indecisiveness on the part of an employer for any reason (even a pandemic) can play havoc with employee engagement, making it more challenging to recruit and retain the talent critical to growth. If hire/rehire decisions go awry, employers should make a concerted effort to communicate with as much transparency as possible to protect valued relationships with candidates and employees.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, FOX News, CNN, Staffing Industry Analysts, NPR, ABC News, The New York Times, CNBC