July 2020 BLS Jobs Report

The July 2020 Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the US employment situation and the data for July shows improvement from June after economic decline related to COVID-19. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

The July jobs report shows positive change in the labor market. Unemployment declined to 10.2% and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.8 million, while the number of unemployed persons declined by 1.4 million to 16.3 million. These improvements are related to a resurgence in economy activity after major coronavirus-related slowdowns in March and April.


Unemployment Rate



Number of Unemployed Persons



Change in Nonfarm Payroll Unemployment


Here are some other key statistics from the labor department jobs report:

  • The number of unemployed people on temporary layoff decreased by 1.3 million to 9.2 million.
  • The number of unemployed people who were jobless less than 5 weeks increased by 364,000 to 3.2 million, and the number of those jobless for 5 to 14 weeks declined by 6.3 million to 5.2 million. In contrast, the number of unemployed people who were jobless 15 to 26 weeks rose by 4.6 million to 6.5 million.
  • The labor force participation rate remained fairly consistent at 61.4%.
  • The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (AKA involuntary part-time workers) declined by 619,000 to 8.4 million.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.07 to $29.39 after large fluctuations in previous months.

July brought job gains in many industries hiring in 2020. We saw the greatest employment change in leisure and hospitality with 592,000 jobs added. Most of these gains came from food services and drinking places, which added 502,000 jobs in July. We also a saw significant increase in government, retail trade, and others as normal activity began to resume. Here are the industries that were affected in July:



Change in Employment by Industry



Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests that the economy is improving but job gains have slowed down significantly. Due to the impact of the coronavirus, our economy is still in poor shape compared to our employment situation in February. To track employment numbers and the health of the economy, check back for our summary of the BLS August jobs report on September 4, 2020.

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by: Sarah Ballow
August 07, 2020