While employment in leisure and hospitality led July’s gains with 96,000 jobs added, huge recoveries were seen across a wide range of categories. Professional and business services added 89,000 jobs, with gains in architectural and engineering services, technical consulting, and scientific research and development. Health care created 70,000 jobs, mostly in health care services and hospitals and nursing facilities. Jobs have also increased in government, construction, manufacturing and even mining.
“It’s a job market that just won’t shut down,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “Economic indicators are signaling caution, but U.S. employers are signaling confidence. The economy is in a tussle between risk and resilience. The self-employed are still in the driving seat.”
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The July jobs report showed few signs of slowing down, proving to be a pillar of strength for an economy facing strong headwinds. Other indicators, including inflation at 40-year highs and six months of negative economic growth paint a less rosy picture. Financial markets have lost trillions of dollars in value this year, and a measure of consumer sentiment hit a record high in June.
Economists worry that as the Fed continues to raise rates and borrowing becomes more expensive for households and businesses, workers will have less leverage in the labor market than they did at the start of the year. . Also, economists fear that higher interest rates will lead to a wave of layoffs.
But it’s hard to have a recession with such job growth.
Most private sector workers are seeing wage increases wiped out by inflation, and a record number of Americans have taken two full-time jobs. Government employees, whose salaries are lower than those of the rest of the workforce, suffer even more from inflated prices for gasoline, food and housing.
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The number of Americans leaving their jobs remains high, although lower than its peak at the start of the year. A record number of workers quit their jobs over the past year, in a phenomenon known as the Great Quit, as a boiling job market spurred by the pandemic gave workers increased leverage to demand wages higher and better conditions, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Although the data suggests that this trend is also easing, the quit rate remains at its highest level in 20 years.
Elenna Geffrard, a case manager in Developmental Social Services, recently gave her employer in New York her opinion because she found a better-paying job doing the same thing elsewhere with a lighter workload.
“I’m quitting because I’m wiped out, and they gave us more cases to take on,” Geffrard said. “I have 40 cases to watch. In my new job, I’m better paid and I only have 20 cases.
Finding a new job wasn’t easy, Geffrard said. She applied to around 40 people over the past year before receiving her offer last week.
Job creations also slowed in June compared to previous months, with notable declines in retail and wholesale trade as consumer demand shifted from goods to services such as dining out, cinema outings and travel.
The number of layoffs reported in June remained constant, despite increasing media reports of job losses in technology, advertising and healthcare. In June, the information sector, which includes technology, saw its layoff rate drop from 0.9% to 1.3%. Netflix, MasterClass and Coinbase cut hundreds of employees in June. Most employers, however, seem to retain their workers. In addition, workers who lose their jobs seem to quickly find new positions.
“There is no doubt that some employers have just emerged from a period of exceptionally tight labor markets, so they may be reluctant to lay off as they would have done before this period of labor shortages” , Groshen said.
Geneva Tucker, a research analyst in Kansas City, Kansas, was fired in May by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment due to budget cuts. Tucker has since applied to about 200 research jobs without success.
“I was originally looking for a similar job, but it wasn’t an easy process,” said Tucker, a microbiology graduate. “At this point, I’m just trying to apply for any jobs that my experience is relevant to and can pay a decent amount.”
Two months out of work, she barely receives unemployment benefits and barely manages. She even cut back on basic groceries.
“It’s a real struggle to make ends meet,” Tucker said. “When gas is $5 a gallon, it’s really hard to get to job interviews because I can’t afford gas. It seems extremely unfair to have all this experience and my degree and come to this point where I struggle day to day.