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Employment Situation

The Employment Situation for July 2022

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Published On: July 11, 2022

Editor's Note: This report is based on survey data from June 2022 that was published in July 2022. This is the most recent data available. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics) 

According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate remained steady for the fourth consecutive month at 3.6%, just one-tenth of one percentage point above the 50-year unemployment rate lows registered prior to the pandemic.  

Further, job growth exceeded expectations again, with the U.S. adding 372,000 jobs last month. Although this number does continue the slight downward trend that has progressed throughout the year, the slope and trajectory of positive new jobs figures remains resilient in the face of rising inflation and interest rates.

Aside from the new jobs, there is little change to report over the month; most data points toward stability and maintenance of the current status quo. One exception, however, is the percentage of employees who worked remotely at some point over the month, which ticked down another 0.3% to 7.1% as return to in-office work continues.  

In terms of how those new jobs were distributed across industries, professional and business services topped the list for the first time in two months–adding 74,000 new jobs and slightly edging out the 64,000 jobs added within the leisure and hospitality industry. 

The healthcare industry also added 54,000 jobs, replenishing depleted forces; transportation and warehousing added 36,000 jobs; and manufacturing added 29,000 jobs, which will hopefully bring more balance to supply chains nationwide.  

Beyond that, the information sector added 25,000 jobs; wholesale added 16,000 jobs; and mining added 5,000 jobs, while the remaining industries saw no meaningful change over the month.    

Mployer Advisor’s Take:  

Despite the sustained low unemployment and expectation-beating job growth, there are some signs that the labor market may be starting to cool.  

The economic reports from the last couple of months have been revised downward by about 75,000, which contrasts starkly with the upward revisions that have become customary throughout the pandemic. Also, the number of job openings has decreased slightly, indicating that new job postings have not been keeping up with the jobs being filled and tallied in these economic reports. 

Perhaps more importantly, however, many view the potential cooling of the labor market as a welcome stabilizing sign. With total private sector jobs now exceeding pre-pandemic levels and unemployment at historic lows, inflation is now the far greater concern (hence the Federal Reserve’s decision to aggressively raise interest rates). 

The question now becomes: If job growth continues along the current trend, will the Fed be forced to continue raising rates?  

With some economic indicators softening–most notably declining GDP growth over the past two quarters and a recent slowing in consumer spending–minimizing the possibility and severity of a recession should take priority over maintaining full employment levels for the time being. 

Eager for more exclusive content? Check out the Mployer Advisor blog, or review last month’s employment numbers here. Also be sure to tune in to the most recent episode of Mployer Advisor’s new podcast, “This Week in Benefits.”  

Employment Situation

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Abbey Dean

Content Marketing Lead, Mployer Advisor

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