Reflections on the June 2021 BLS Report


The labor market is continuing steadily on its path to recovery, marked by a major jobs increase in the month of June. The American economy added 850,000 jobs this past month – about as much as April and May's numbers put together (269,000 jobs and 583,000 jobs, respectively). Notable job gains for the month occurred in the leisure & hospitality industry as the country sustains its efforts to return to pre-pandemic staffing levels in all sectors, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic. The unemployment rate increased slightly, from 5.8 to 5.9%.

Let's take a look at job gains and losses across industries for the month of June:

Graphs from BLS Employment Situation Report

Industries that saw growth in June 2021

Following the trend of the last few months, most of the 850,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy in June were seen in leisure & hospitality. The industry was one of the hardest hit throughout the pandemic and has started to take major steps toward complete restaffing in 2021.

  • Leisure & hospitality employment increased by 343,000. Over half of that gain was in food services & drinking places (194,000), while accommodation (75,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (74,000) also grew significantly. Employment in leisure & hospitality is still down 2.2 million, or 13%, from February of 2020.
  • Local government education employment continued to increase in June, by 155,000. State government education (75,000) and private education (39,000) also saw job gains. Though these are positive, they could also be seasonal positions, and thus, only temporary job gains.
  • Employment in professional & business services rose by 72,000, with temporary help, advertising, R&D, and legal services all making significant gains. 
  • Retail trade employment added 67,000 jobs in June and motor vehicles and parts saw job gains of 25,000 following a loss in April. This marks one of the "fully recovered" industries, as employment is down only 1.9% from last February.
  • Other industries such as social assistancewholesale trademiningmanufacturing, transportation & warehousing, and other services (personal/laundry/maintenance) saw small gains in June.

Related: How can Talroo help your industry hire?

Industries that saw losses in June 2021

Most major industries that make up the brunt of American employment saw gains in June, but some of the gains within categories were offset by small losses. For example:

  • Within the transportation & warehousing industry, while employment gains were seen in warehousing and storage, air transport, and truck transport, there were job losses for couriers and messengers of 24,000. 
  • Construction employment declined by 7,000 in June, especially for nonresidential trade contractors and civil engineering constructing workers.
  • While job gains were made for manufacturing, especially for furniture and metal products, there was a loss of 12,000 jobs in motor vehicles and parts. The industry is still down by 481,000 jobs since its level in Feburary 2020.

Employment remained largely unchanged for the industries of healthcare, financial activities, and information.

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Other employment statistics for June

This month's household survey data showed that:

  • 14.4 percent of employed people worked from home in some fashion due to the pandemic, following a consistent decline seen in the past few months. 
  • 6.2 million people reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. 10% of those unable to work received some pay from employers for the hours they couldn't work, up slightly from last month.
  • The number of people not in the labor force in June who were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic fell to 1.6 million

While many industries are still struggling to hire right now, the economy is absolutely headed in the right direction in terms of recovery. The considerable job gains seen in June were even higher than economists expected, and with continued vaccinations across the country, as well as some states beginning to roll back previously increased unemployment benefits, employment numbers should continue to increase steadily in the months to come. 

At Talroo, we have consistently monitored the state of recovery of the U.S. economy, with a major focus on how job seekers are feeling and what employers can do to hire better across industries. Read more of our recruiting and talent acquisition blog here.

Topics: Recruiting Industry

Updated July 2, 2021