Skilled young male hr manager holding job interview with candidate.

True to predictions, job growth seems to be picking up speed. Following the addition of 583,000 jobs in May (revised from 559,000), another 850,000 nonfarm payroll jobs came to the market in June, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This month’s growth surpasses economists’ estimates of 720,000 jobs

However, the unemployment rate for the month went up somewhat, from 5.8% to 5.9%, bringing the total number of unemployed people to 9.5 million.

Steady unemployment rates 

Unemployment rates for all major worker groups rose slightly or were unchanged in June:

  • Adult men: 5.9% (5.9% in May)
  • Adult women: 5.5% (5.4% in May)
  • Teenagers: 9.9% (9.6% in May)
  • Black/African American: 9.2% (9.1% in May)
  • Hispanic/Latino: 7.4% (7.3% in May)
  • Asian: 5.8% (5.5% in May)
  • White: 5.2% (5.1% in May)

Continued recovery from pandemic impacts

In June, about 164,000 people joined those who’ve voluntarily left or quit their previous jobs to seek new employment — this group now consists of 942,000 people. The numbers of those experiencing temporary layoffs and permanent job loss were mostly unchanged in June, now accounting for 1.8 million and 3.2 million people, respectively. 

There was also little change in short- and long-term unemployment in June. The number of those who’ve been jobless for five weeks or less still totals 2 million, while those who’ve been unemployed for six months or more added 233,000 people and now totals 4.0 million.

The labor force participation rate remains at 61.6%, still 1.7% below February 2020’s rate.

The number of employees who teleworked for pandemic-related reasons dropped again in June, from 16.6% to 14.4%. The pandemic is also having less influence on those unable to work or look for work — these totals fell from 7.9 to 6.2 million people and 2.5 to 1.6 million people, respectively.

A comeback for leisure and hospitality

For another month, the leisure and hospitality industry led job growth, gaining 343,000 jobs in June. These jobs were primarily in food and drinking places (194,000), with notable gains in accommodation (75,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (74,000). Despite this growth, the industry is still behind by 2.2 million jobs compared to its pre-pandemic status.

Other industry sectors with significant job gains included:

  • Local government education (155,000), state government education (75,000), and private education (39,000)
  • Professional and business services (72,000)
  • Retail trade (67,000)
  • Other services (56,000)
  • Social assistance (32,000)

Construction employment dropped by another 7,000 jobs in June, following a loss of 20,000 jobs in May. 

June’s growth reflects optimism among both employees and CEOs. But some unemployed people are content to wait for now — it may take motivators like schools reopening, increased vaccination, and cuts to savings and benefits to get them back to work.