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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. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

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