Despite the unemployment rate rising to 5.9%, United States jobs increased by a whopping 850,000 in June as the numbers of coronavirus cases continues to decline nationwide, states lift restrictions, and the numbers of vaccinations rose.
In spite of widespread worker shortages, which experts have pegged to the payments that have been meted out to the unemployed due to Covid, the rate of hiring in the US accelerated last month as employers added 850,000 jobs to their payrolls.
The unemployment rate, which was calculated from a different survey, showed a very slight increase, going from 5.8% to 5.9%, according to a statement from the Labor Department on Friday.
The figures come as a very welcome sign, amounting to more than 100,000 jobs over the estimates that had been issued by economists earlier, who had stated that they believed that June’s figures would show an increase of 720,000 jobs, according to a survey by Bloomberg.
At the end of June, the United States has regained 15.6 million, or 70%, of the 22.4 million jobs that were lost in the Spring of 2020, amounting to the nation having 6.8 million jobs fewer than the booming level of the pre-pandemic years.
The sector of leisure and hospitality, which was naturally the industry that was hit hardest by the lockdowns and closures caused by the pandemic, led the surprising gains, adding a total of 343,000 jobs in June.
That includes 194,000 in US restaurants and bars, as more and more states rescinded rulings having to do with capacity limits.
One odd aspect of the figures is that the realm of local, state and private education saw an increase of 269,000 positions, since school employees typically come off the payroll every June and July.
But since fewer education workers have been employed since the pandemic, fewer dropped off the employment rolls, leading to a big gain after seasonal adjustments are made.
Positions in the professional and business services sector increased by 72,000 in June, while the retail sector added 67,000 as many more stores reopened and increased their hours and capacity limits.
Manufacturing, which has been continually beset by bottlenecks in supply chains across the entire sector, was even able to add 15,000 positions last month, according to the report.
Several forces are working together to improve the economy and labor market, leading analysts to estimate that there will be record job gains amounting to 7 million to 8 million jobs in 2021.
The reported number of coronavirus cases this week fell to a seven-day average of approximately 12,000 — the lowest seen in more than a year, since March of 2020. As of Friday, just over 47% of the entire US population has been fully vaccinated — not just those who are currently eligible but the entire citizenry.
By the beginning of July, most states have lifted all pandemic-related restrictions and social distancing provisions.
The US Congress has passed approximately $3.2 trillion in government stimulus spending since the beginning of the pandemic, resulting in stimulus checks for every single adult individual and greatly increased unemployment benefits.
Logically, consumer demand is responding to the increased money in Americans’ pockets, with spending skyrocketing after more than a year of lockdowns, some self-imposed restraint and the constraints forced on consumers when they were unable to shop as they normally would over the past year.
According to as USA Today report, restaurant seatings on OpenTable, an online reservation service, appeared to be just 10% below levels seen in 2019 during one week in mid-June, up sharply from 17% below pre-pandemic levels during May.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs note that this is the strongest showing since the beginning of the pandemic, in an important sector of the US economy.
The majority of companies are currently struggling to find enough workers to operate as usual, despite the demand from consumers.
Live theater, which was most likely the sector that suffered the biggest blow during the pandemic, is returning to our cities, both large and small, and they are hiring back workers.
In March of last year, Chad Brown, who is 40 years of age, was laid off from his job as a booking agent for musicians, comedians and other acts at a Denver venue. This occurred at the same time as his wife, Kaytlain, found she could no longer work as a massage therapist.
Brown was ale to find a part-time job at a company that sells prepared meal kits while his wife received unemployment benefits; however, their income still wasn’t enough to make ends meet in the big city of Denver. A year ago, the couple and their 8-month-old son had to move in with Kaytlain’s parents, while Chad tended bar once a week and his wife worked as a restaurant server.
Brown has now found a new position as a restaurant manager and he also manages private events at a theater that is about to begin staging plays in Phoenix. He not only has a better job t Han he had before the pandemic, he says, but he now has hopes of rising to a position such as artistic director one day.
The manager says “It was very exciting,” when he heard of the job offer. However, he estimates that it’s “going to take a long time” before patrons to return to the theater once again.
Goldman Sachs says some of the issues stopping people from returning to the workplace, such as an inability to find childcare during the pandemic, are no longer posing major problems for working-age Americans.
Approximately half of all states have stated that they will cut off the extra unemployment benefits before the September deadline, and many started doing so in last month. Goldman noted that ongoing jobless claims dropped more rapidly in those states last month.