US Nonfarm Payroll Increases by 528,000 in July; Unemployment Falls to 3.5%

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today (8-5-22) reported that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 528,000 in July, larger than the average monthly gain of 388,000 over the prior 4 months. Total nonfarm employment has increased by 22.0 million since reaching a low in April 2020. Private-sector employment is now 629,000 higher than in February 2020, although several sectors have yet to recover. For example, government employment is 597,000 lower than its pre-pandemic level.

In July, the unemployment rate inched lower to 3.5%, and the number of unemployed persons edged down to 5.7 million. Both total nonfarm payroll and unemployment have returned to their February 2020, pre-pandemic levels.

Job growth was widespread, with notable growth occurring in leisure and hospitality, where 96,000 jobs were added. Professional and business services added 89,000 positions. Health care rose by 70,000 in July. Employment in government increased by 57,000 jobs. Construction employment increased by 32,000. Manufacturing added 30,000 new positions. Employment in other major industries including social assistance, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information services, financial activities, and mining also experienced job growth during the month.

The BLS notes that additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors has led to the following adjustments: The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised upwards by 2,000, from 384,000 to 386,000, and the change for June was revised upwards by 26,000, from 372,000 to 398,000. With these revisions, employment in May and June combined is 28,000 higher than previously reported.

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