Despite news of massive layoffs and looming economic uncertainty, the June jobs report demonstrated significant gains and signs of a recovery to almost pre-pandemic levels — with some industries surpassing the February 2020 mark.
In June, 372,000 jobs were added, with the unemployment rate steady at 3.6% for the fourth month in a row, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of individuals unemployed (5.9 million) remained relatively unchanged in June and held similar levels to the state of the economy in February 2020 (5.7 million) before the pandemic.
Professional and business services — management of companies and enterprises, computer systems design and related services, office administrative services, and scientific research and development services — had the most notable growth with 74,000 jobs, signifying not only recovery to pre-pandemic levels, but has surpassed its values from February 2020.
Leisure and hospitality, as well as health care, experienced similar gains, but are each still below their February 2020 levels with leisure and hospitality behind by 7.8% and health care behind by 1.1%. Still, the industries demonstrated significant growth and were the second and third job growth drivers of June, respectively.
Although the job report was strong, major companies are still in the midst of layoffs.
Julia Pollack, chief economist at ZipRecruiter told Entrepreneur this is likely due to overhiring in unsustainable conditions.
“There are industries that expanded dramatically during the pandemic because of unique conditions,” Pollak said. “So the return to normal in some of those industries that expanded too quickly means cutting back a bit, but in most of the job market, the return to normal still means growth and expansion and more job openings — their return to normal still means expansion.”