By Kellie Lail
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its July 2022 Report, so let’s take a look at how employment fared over the last month.
The great news: In July, employment rose by 528,000, narrowing unemployment to 3.5%. This means that in July, the United States hit the pre-pandemic historic low of 3.5% unemployment. The industries that garnered the largest share of jobs were leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. The total number of unemployed persons in the United States landed at 5.7 million in July. An interesting fact to consider, the unemployment rates for women came down in July, reaching 3.1%.
The good news: The number of permanently unemployed persons continued to trend down in July reaching 1.2 million which actually falls below the pre-pandemic low in February of 2020. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for more than 27 weeks, continued trending down in July and met the pre-pandemic level of 1.1 million. This demographic accounts for 18.9% of total unemployed persons in July. In July, hourly earnings rose by 15 cents to $32.27. Average hourly earnings have increased by 5.2% since July 2021, but have still not risen to meet the increase in inflation over the same period of time. Average hourly earnings for people in non-supervisory roles has risen by 11 cents to $27.57 in July.
The bad news: In July, 2.2 million persons reported that due to loss of business or the closing of their employer, they were unable to work in July. 548,000 unemployed persons were unable to look for work as a result of the pandemic, showing little change from June. Also little changed from June, 424,000 discouraged workers who believed there were no jobs available for them were reported.
Keep in mind: As unemployment rates have decreased to meet their pre-pandemic lows, inflation continues to rise along with the cost of living, and an increase in the number of businesses looking to hire while the number of unemployed persons actively looking for work remains relatively steady. Especially as hourly wages rise but are paced behind the rate of inflation, being a competitive employer continues to be more important than ever. To attract the best candidates that are looking to work in your industry, you must show them that you are the most competitive employer in terms of salary, benefits, career stability, remote or flexibility options. and career growth opportunities.
Key Takeaways: With unemployment rates reaching the same levels as prior to the pandemic, the job market continues to grow in competition. Another thing to keep in mind is that telecommuting or remote work remains popular in the current job market, with 7.1& of workers telecommuting in July because of the coronavirus pandemic. This number has remained relatively steady over the past quarter. Offering remote options and flexibility can also play a role in casting a wider net to ensure you are attracting the qualified candidates you want to fill your position.