Unemployment Rate Returns to Pre-Pandemic Level

Jobs Growth:

Jobs creation expanded significantly in the month of July, bringing in 528,000 new jobs.

Top Industries:

Gains were widespread, with particular strength in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and healthcare.


For the first time since February 2020, the unemployment rate dropped to its pre-pandemic record of 3.5%.


Average hourly earnings saw a 0.5% rise in the past month, bringing the annual average hourly increase to 5.2%.

Work Week:

The average work week continued its five-month trend at 34.6 hours.

Temporary Job Trends:

The temporary help sector more than doubled June activity, creating 9,800 new jobs in July.

What does it all mean?

The latest jobs report came as a shock to all those who held low expectations for a surge, despite the traditional July bump from leisure and hospitality hiring for the summer. The addition of more than half a million jobs to the economy did much to temper recession fears.

This good news did little to ease concerns about the impact of rising inflation, however. Even with a steady stream of monthly wage increases, these gains are more than offset by inflation. Expect to see high numbers of monthly resignations continue as workers search for any type of relief from higher prices.

This situation offers opportunities for those employers willing to raise pay levels beyond close competitors by industry or region. There is another alternative that transcends compensation. It is to offer compelling value in those areas that sit outside a typical job posting, such as candidate experience, job purpose, opportunities for learning and career advancement. Look to recruiting experts for guidance on how to capitalize on your best attraction factors.

This newsletter references the BLS Report of July activity, released 8/5/22. Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), MarketWatch, The New York Times, CNN, FOX Business, USA Today, CNBC, Staffing Industry Analysts, American Staffing Association, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal