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The Latest On The Employment Situation

Updated : August 27th, 2020

The Latest On The Employment Situation

The month of July saw the American economy adding 1.8 million jobs to the total nonfarm payroll. These numbers are a positive indicator as the nation witnessed the restarting of several economic activities throughout the country. Several posts were added to the health care, professional and business services, retail trade, government, leisure, and hospitality verticals. But the employment situation in July is not all that rosy as it may seem. 

On the downside, the unemployment rate is 10.2%, which is higher than the lay-off rate during the Great Recession between 2017 – 2019. Also, the increasing number of cases in South Carolina, Oregon, and Alabama have left job seekers in these states in the lurch. 

The unemployment crisis has been quite severe for the last few months, with the unemployment rate spiking to 14.7% in April. Subsequently, the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3% in May, and 11.1% in June. 

Key Unemployment Stats For July

The unemployment rate in July dropped by 0.9%, capping a figure of 10.2%. With the slight drop in the unemployment rate in July, what now needs to be seen is whether the number drops further in the following months or not. 

Major Ups and Downs in July

Last month saw the service sector adding a majority of jobs. The leisure and hospitality vertical added 592,000 jobs in July, accounting for one-third of the total nonfarm job gains. Another prominent sector is the food services and bars sector. It saw an increased spike in jobs, adding 502,000 jobs in July. But despite the increasing jobs in this sector, the situation is not as good as before the pandemic began.   

The government sector also added 301,000 jobs in July. Also, the public sector education vertical saw an increase of +215,000 jobs in the local government education sector vertical. The state government education sector added +30,000 jobs last month. Since the election season is just around the corner, the federal government also hired +27,000 temporary employees. 

The retail trade vertical also performed quite well last month, adding 258,000 jobs. Most of the jobs in this sector took place in the clothing accessories stores division. Interestingly, the warehouse stores and large shopping supercenters saw a loss of 64,000 jobs.

170,000+ jobs have been added in July in the professional and business services sector. Most of the job gains in this sector occurred in the temporary help services vertical. The other services sector also added 149,000 jobs, with significant gains in personnel and laundry services. 

 Health care has turned out to be one of the most critical sectors in these times by adding 126,000 jobs. The verticals that hired the most were the dentists, hospitals, physician’s offices, and the home healthcare services industry. But job losses continued in the residential care and nursing facilities.

The other prominent sectors that hired talent were social support, transport, and warehousing, manufacturing, financial activities, construction, and mining. Several jobs were also added in the gambling, recreational, and amusement verticals, respectively.

Establishment Survey Data

It is essential to look into the hourly earning and other critical aspects that keep the workforce running in these tough times. The points mentioned below will give you a better insight on the hourly earnings of employees in the country.

  1. Hourly earnings for all nonfarm employees increased by 7% in July.
  2. The current amount stands at $29.39
  3. Average hourly earnings for nonsupervisory and production employees currently stands at $24.63
  4. The workweek for all nonfarm employees stood at 34.5 hours in the last month.
  5. For manufacturing employees, the workweek stood at 39.7 hours in July.
  6. Production and nonsupervisory employee’s workweek was 34.0 hours last month.

Household Survey Data

Workers Group  Unemployment Rate
Adult Men 9.4 percent
Adult Women 10.5 percent
Teenagers 19.3 percent
White Population 9.2 percent
Black Population 14.6 percent
Asian Population 12.0 percent
Hispanics 12.9 percent


What’s surprising in the above data is that the unemployment rate for adult men and the white population is below 10%. However, for all other categories mentioned in this table, the unemployment rate stands above 10%. 

The reason for such a high unemployment rate across all categories is due to several factors. The most prominent reason being that the country’s economy has not yet recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. The other notable reason for the high unemployment rate across all categories is the massive shutdowns of several industries and some businesses slow restarting.  

Other Unemployment Aspects To Consider

Job seekers and the unemployed must understand lots more on the unemployment trends and other critical aspects. The points mentioned below will give you a clear picture of what to expect. 

  1. The number of part-time employees spiked up to 23 million people in July.
  2. People who work part-time due to economic reasons stood at 8.4 million in July.
  3. People who are looking for a job stand at 7.7 million. 
  4. The number of people marginally attached to the workforce stood at 2 million last month.


With a slight revival of the economy, the unemployed should look on the bright side as things are slowly but steadily picking up. Since many sectors have added jobs in these times of uncertainty, the situation looked good in July.  But what’s yet to be seen is if the infection starts spreading in areas already once affected, things could get terrible for the unemployed.  

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  1. If I’m laid off and I go back to work for three or four weeks and get laid off again do I have to do the one week waiting period before I can collect again?

  2. I was informed by the automated phone system that my claim for last week 06/12/2021 was not processed due to an outstanding issue on said claim. I have tried for four days to reach a human to assist me in this matter. It’s been impossible! Please help.

    1. Anne,

      Wish we could do something for you. This is a private forum. Please continue following up regularly. You can perhaps write them an email.

  3. I am trying to request payments from aug 2015 up until 2017 I never received a debit card and just assumed that I was denied. So i did not request payment but would like to now

    1. Katrina,

      That period is past and you might not be able to claim retroactively. Please write the office an email if you wish to.

  4. Ive provided documents that were needed and i have not receive any type of response i have went without benefits for 6 weeks could someone please contact me

    1. Sondra,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim. Please follow up with the office directly.

  5. To whom it may concern, Please what is wrong with the site to claim weeks? I am at the Career Source and they said it has been acting up for 2 days. I am frustrated so I can imagine how many others are like me. I was laid off 4/16/2021. My UI is showing active but still under review. Is there anything you need from me to get this going? I will give it to you. Please July rent coming up. I am tapped from asking from family to get me thru now. Please please please any answers for me? I am begging right now. I can not be late on rent or they will not renew my lease when it is time. I can not move, to costly. I have been here for 20 years. Please any suggestions. I will pay back July rent if my UI goes thru. No reason why it shouldn’t. Please help. Thanks again, Kay

    1. Kay,

      It must be a tough time for you. This is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim. Please chase the Office directly.

  6. I just filed for my first weeks benefit and am trying to change the payment method. It does not give me the verify who you are questions?

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