There was some good news amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, when the White House announced that 4.8 million non-farm jobs were added to the United States economy during the month of June, bringing the U.S. unemployment rate down 2.2 percentage points from 13.3%to 11.1%.
This information is detailed in a jobs report that the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Thursday. This rise in employment is “the largest monthly gain on record,” according to a press release. When combined with the 2.7 million jobs that were added to the economy in May, June’s 4.8 million job increase recovers approximately one-third of jobs lost to COVID-19 in March and April.
Even with this increase over the past two months, the jobless rate and the number of unemployed people is up 7.6 percentage points and 12 million people, respectively, since February.
The industry that experienced the largest employment increase in June was the leisure and hospitality sector, with 2.1 million jobs added, about two-fifths of the total gains in nonfarm employment. Other industries that experienced significant employment growth last month include retail trade, which added 740,000, education and health services, 568,000, other services, 357,000, and manufacturing, 356,000.
The number of unemployed reentrants to the labor force, specified in the report as persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior searching for a new job, rose by 711,000, or 43%. Employed people who flowed into the category of not in the labor force numbered 3.6 million from May to June, less than the 4.7 million average of the 12 months prior to March.
However, the number of permanent job losers continued to grow during June, going from 588,000 to 2.9 million.
Unemployment rates for demographic groups like Hispanics, blacks, and women decreased by 3.1 percentage points, 1.4 percentage points, and 2.8 percentage points, respectively. The number of employed black Americans had its second largest gain on record of 404,000, and black American women over 20 had their largest gain on record of 267,000.
How exactly this nationwide decrease in unemployment during the month of June is manifested in the local labor force hasn’t yet been quantified, as the State of California Employment Development Department won’t be releasing its figures on changes in Santa Barbara County’s unemployment until July 17. The last release from the EDD indicated that 1,600 jobs across all industries were added to the workforce between April and May, and that the latter month had 1% less unemployment than the prior month.
Though the sum of 1,600 jobs added consists of farm and nonfarm jobs, only the former in total increased. According to the EDD’s figures, farm jobs in Santa Barbara County increased by 2,200 while 600 nonfarm jobs were lost, offsetting the former for a total increase of 1,600 jobs. According to EDD labor market consultant Andriy Moskalyk, May’s rise in farm jobs was merely due to “a normal seasonal fluctuation in agriculture.”
Certain local nonfarm sectors did add jobs however, including construction with 1,300 jobs added, education and health services with 400 jobs added, and leisure and hospitality with 700 jobs added
Sectors that experienced the biggest losses were government, losing 2,200 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities, losing 700.