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July Jobs Report: 2 New Milestones in our Economic Recovery

The July jobs report marked two new milestones in the economic recovery: First, the number of Americans working exceeded the pre-pandemic number, as the economy added 528,000 jobs in July with a three-month moving average of 437,000. Second, the unemployment rate is 3.5%, back to its pre-pandemic low, which matched the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. The total number of unemployed workers (5.67 million) is lower than it was in February 2020 (5.72 million). 

The speed of this job's recovery has been remarkable. Since the president and Congress took office in January 2021, the economy has added 9.5 million new jobs. In early July, we learned the economy completely recovered all the private-sector jobs lost in the pandemic recession in just over two years. That’s faster than the past three recoveries. The faster-than-expected recovery of the total number of jobs lost during the pandemic is the latest good news from the fast, but steadying job growth we’ve seen over the last several months. However, the July job growth was a significant break from the second quarter average of 375,000, and one month of data is not enough to determine a change in the trend.  

As of July 2022, the nonfarm jobs exceed their pre-pandemic level (jobs in thousands).

As of July 2022, the nonfarm jobs exceed their pre-pandemic level– accessible version

Racial unemployment gaps and the recovery 

The Biden-Harris administration and the U.S. Department of Labor are committed to an equitable economic recovery. We regularly monitor economic indicators by race, gender, education and other statuses and identities. In this report, we looked specifically at the relative changes in the racial unemployment rate gaps overall and by gender. 

Racial unemployment rate gaps between Black and white workers and Hispanic and white workers have been trending down quickly. With the July report, the Hispanic-white gap narrowed further. The Black unemployment rate ticked up (though not statistically significantly) and the Black-white gap, therefore, increased. This is in line with the fast recovery and tight labor market (at least when looking at the unemployment rate to vacancy ratio). Note the Asian-American gap is not included below because the Asian-American unemployment rate tends to be lower than the white rate. Monthly sample sizes are too small to disaggregate the Asian-American rate at the monthly level. However, there is likely significant variation. 

The Hispanic-White Unemployment Rate Gap now and during the prior two recoveries ( in percentage points; months since business cycle peak; a lower figure= a closing gap) (workers 16 years and older)

The Hispanic-White Unemployment Rate Gap now and during the prior two recoveries– accessible version

The Black-White Unemployment Rate Gap now and during the prior two recoveries (in percentage points; months since business cycle peak; a lower figure= a closing gap) (workers 16 years and older)

The Black-White Unemployment Rate Gap now and during the prior two recoveries– accessible version

The speed by which the unemployment gap is closing varies by gender. The gaps for Hispanic men and Black men are at or below their pre-pandemic lows. Notably, Black men and Hispanic men’s employment-to-population shares recently have been at or near fully recovered for several months (though they both fell in July, a departure from trend that should be monitored). Whereas the share for white men has not yet reached the pre-pandemic share. 

The Unemployment Rate Gap between White men and Black and Hispanic men is near pre-pandemic lows (in percentage points; a lower figure= a closing gap) (workers 20 years and older)

The Unemployment Rate Gap between White men and Black and Hispanic men is near pre-pandemic lows– accessible version

For women, the gaps have not closed as much, though we’re seeing some progress. Notably, the employment-to-population share dynamic for white, Black and Hispanic women has been the reverse for several months, driven by differences in labor-force participation and employment rates. The July report did include some positive employment news for women: the 3-month moving average (in the chart) ticked up. The Black-white gap for women remained the same in July as the Black women’s unemployment rate fell. Hispanic women’s unemployment rate fell to a historic low of 3.2%.  And, both Black and Hispanic women’s employment-to-population ratios increased by +0.4 and +0.8 percentage points respectively.  

The differences between men and women could be driven by the sectoral composition of the recovery, with sectors with a higher share of women working still below their pre-pandemic levels. But access to care and the effects of long COVID-19 on family dynamics may also be playing a role as the recovery has been slower for women than men. Notably, the labor-force participation rates for both prime-age men and women, particularly those without college degrees, still have room to improve. 

The Unemployment Rate Gap between White women and Black and Hispanic women is shrinking but has not reached pre-pandemic lows (in percentage points; a lower figure= a closing gap) (workers 20 years and older)

The Unemployment Rate Gap between White women and Black and Hispanic women is shrinking but has not reached pre-pandemic lows– accessible version

White women's employment to population share is more recovered than for Black and Hispanic women. (February 2020 = 100; as of July 2022)

White women's employment to population share is more recovered than for Black and Hispanic women– accessible version

This strong July jobs report reinforces the urgency of the administration’s goal of investing in America’s workers. The outlook grows brighter as the president prepares to sign the CHIPS and Science Act into law and following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which will create thousands of jobs, address our climate crisis and lower costs for families in every community. 

 

Joelle Gamble is the chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.


As of July 2022, the nonfarm jobs exceed their pre-pandemic level (jobs in thousands)- accessible version

Month and Year Jobs Added
Nov:2007 138284
Dec:2007 138392
Jan:2008 138403
Feb:2008 138324
Mar:2008 138275
Apr:2008 138035
May:2008 137858
Jun:2008 137687
Jul:2008 137491
Aug:2008 137213
Sep:2008 136753
Oct:2008 136272
Nov:2008 135545
Dec:2008 134839
Jan:2009 134055
Feb:2009 133312
Mar:2009 132512
Apr:2009 131817
May:2009 131475
Jun:2009 131008
Jul:2009 130668
Aug:2009 130485
Sep:2009 130244
Oct:2009 130045
Nov:2009 130057
Dec:2009 129788
Jan:2010 129790
Feb:2010 129698
Mar:2010 129879
Apr:2010 130110
May:2010 130650
Jun:2010 130511
Jul:2010 130427
Aug:2010 130422
Sep:2010 130357
Oct:2010 130625
Nov:2010 130750
Dec:2010 130822
Jan:2011 130841
Feb:2011 131053
Mar:2011 131288
Apr:2011 131602
May:2011 131703
Jun:2011 131939
Jul:2011 131999
Aug:2011 132125
Sep:2011 132358
Oct:2011 132562
Nov:2011 132694
Dec:2011 132896
Jan:2012 133250
Feb:2012 133512
Mar:2012 133752
Apr:2012 133834
May:2012 133934
Jun:2012 134007
Jul:2012 134159
Aug:2012 134331
Sep:2012 134518
Oct:2012 134677
Nov:2012 134833
Dec:2012 135072
Jan:2013 135263
Feb:2013 135541
Mar:2013 135680
Apr:2013 135871
May:2013 136093
Jun:2013 136274
Jul:2013 136386
Aug:2013 136628
Sep:2013 136815
Oct:2013 137040
Nov:2013 137304
Dec:2013 137373
Jan:2014 137548
Feb:2014 137714
Mar:2014 137968
Apr:2014 138293
May:2014 138511
Jun:2014 138837
Jul:2014 139069
Aug:2014 139257
Sep:2014 139566
Oct:2014 139818
Nov:2014 140109
Dec:2014 140377
Jan:2015 140568
Feb:2015 140839
Mar:2015 140910
Apr:2015 141194
May:2015 141525
Jun:2015 141699
Jul:2015 142001
Aug:2015 142126
Sep:2015 142281
Oct:2015 142587
Nov:2015 142824
Dec:2015 143097
Jan:2016 143205
Feb:2016 143417
Mar:2016 143654
Apr:2016 143851
May:2016 143892
Jun:2016 144150
Jul:2016 144521
Aug:2016 144664
Sep:2016 144953
Oct:2016 145071
Nov:2016 145201
Dec:2016 145415
Jan:2017 145628
Feb:2017 145818
Mar:2017 145960
Apr:2017 146165
May:2017 146388
Jun:2017 146585
Jul:2017 146768
Aug:2017 146913
Sep:2017 147012
Oct:2017 147153
Nov:2017 147353
Dec:2017 147529
Jan:2018 147662
Feb:2018 148064
Mar:2018 148289
Apr:2018 148468
May:2018 148801
Jun:2018 148984
Jul:2018 149050
Aug:2018 149269
Sep:2018 149326
Oct:2018 149471
Nov:2018 149573
Dec:2018 149821
Jan:2019 150100
Feb:2019 150124
Mar:2019 150348
Apr:2019 150636
May:2019 150713
Jun:2019 150843
Jul:2019 150921
Aug:2019 151081
Sep:2019 151244
Oct:2019 151337
Nov:2019 151589
Dec:2019 151789
Jan:2020 152128
Feb:2020 152504
Mar:2020 151006
Apr:2020 130513
May:2020 133155
Jun:2020 137660
Jul:2020 139048
Aug:2020 140713
Sep:2020 141632
Oct:2020 142279
Nov:2020 142612
Dec:2020 142497
Jan:2021 143017
Feb:2021 143727
Mar:2021 144431
Apr:2021 144694
May:2021 145141
Jun:2021 145698
Jul:2021 146387
Aug:2021 146904
Sep:2021 147328
Oct:2021 148005
Nov:2021 148652
Dec:2021 149240
Jan:2022 149744
Feb:2022 150458
Mar:2022 150856
Apr:2022 151224
May:2022 151608
Jun:2022 151980

The Hispanic-White Unemployment Rate Gap now and during the prior two recoveries– accessible version

Months since business cycle peak  2001-2007 2007-2020 2020-today
1 2.5 1.9 1.4
2 2.5 1.9 2.0
3 2.5 1.8 4.7
4 2.6 2.4 5.3
5 2.2 2.7 4.5
6 2.2 2.1 3.6
7 2.4 2.6 3.2
8 2.4 2.3 3.4
9 2.4 2.6 2.9
10 2.6 2.6 2.6
11 2.7 2.9 3.3
12 2.0 2.5 2.9
13 2.5 2.7 2.9
14 2.8 3.0 2.4
15 2.0 3.7 2.4
16 2.3 3.7 2.0
17 2.2 3.3 1.9
18 2.4 3.8 1.6
19 2.3 3.4 1.7
20 2.8 3.8 1.9
21 2.7 4.1 1.8
22 2.8 3.7 1.5
23 2.7 3.6 1.7
24 2.6 3.2 1.5
25 2.7 3.8 1.1
26 2.3 4.1 1.0
27 2.6 3.8 0.9
28 2.8 4.0 1.1
29 2.6 3.5 1.0
30 2.3 3.3 0.8
31 2.0 3.7  
32 2.4 3.7  
33 2.2 3.4  
34 1.7 3.7  
35 2.3 3.7  
36 2.5 4.0  
37 2.5 4.4  
38 2.1 4.2  
39 2.0 3.7  
40 1.6 3.6  
41 2.1 3.8  
42 2.1 3.7  
43 2.2 3.4  
44 2.2 3.2  
45 2.1 3.3  
46 2.1 3.3  
47 1.5 3.4  
48 1.7 3.5  
49 1.3 3.6  
50 2.0 3.3  
51 1.6 3.5  
52 1.4 3.3  
53 1.3 2.9  
54 1.6 3.5  
55 2.0 3.6  
56 1.6 2.9  
57 1.8 2.9  
58 1.9 2.7  
59 1.4 3.1  
60 1.3 3.1  
61 1.2 2.7  
62 1.4 2.6  
63 0.9 2.9  
64 1.1 2.6  
65 1.1 2.3  
66 1.2 2.3  
67 1.6 2.5  
68 0.9 2.9  
69 1.1 2.8  
70 1.1 2.5  
71 1.3 2.8  
72 1.0 2.6  
73 1.2 2.4  
74 1.6 2.6  
75 1.9 2.4  
76 1.4 2.1  
77 1.7 1.9  
78 1.3 2.3  
79 1.7 2.5  
80 1.6 2.4  
81 1.7 2.1  
82 1.9 1.7  
83   1.9  
84   1.6  
85   1.7  
86   1.8  
87   2.1  
88   2.0  
89   2.1  
90   2.0  
91   2.1  
92   2.4  
93   2.2  
94   1.8  
95   1.9  
96   2.0  
97   1.8  
98   1.7  
99   1.3  
100   1.3  
101   1.8  
102   1.5  
103   1.7  
104   1.2  
105   1.2  
106   1.8  
107   1.3  
108   1.4  
109   1.6  
110   1.6  
111   1.6  
112   1.2  
113   1.3  
114   1.5  
115   1.2  
116   1.3  
117   1.2  
118   1.4  
119   1.4  
120   1.2  
121   1.3  
122   1.4  
123   1.3  
124   1.4  
125   1.1  
126   1.3  
127   1.1  
128   1.1  
129   1.2  
130   1.3  
131   1.0  
132   1.3  
133   1.1  
134   1.2  
135   1.1  
136   1.2  
137   0.9  
138   0.9  
139   1.0  
140   1.1  
141   0.7  
142   0.8  
143   0.9  
144   1.1  
145   1.1  
146   1.2  

The Black-White Unemployment Rate Gap now and during the prior two recoveries– accessible version

Months since business cycle peak  2001-2007 2007-2020 2020-today
1 4.6 4.6 3.0
2 4.1 4.7 2.9
3 4.1 4.0 2.5
4 4.3 4.7 4.5
5 4.0 4.2 5.2
6 4.8 4.8 5.2
7 4.6 4.4 5.4
8 4.8 4.8 5.1
9 4.9 5.2 4.9
10 5.0 5.9 4.4
11 4.9 5.5 3.9
12 4.9 5.3 3.5
13 5.5 5.4 4.3
14 5.5 5.6 4.2
15 5.1 6.1 4.4
16 5.4 5.7 4.0
17 4.6 6.9 3.9
18 4.7 6.5 3.4
19 4.6 6.1 4.2
20 4.7 6.1 3.6
21 5.6 5.9 3.9
22 6.2 6.4 2.8
23 5.3 6.6 3.9
24 5.6 6.5 3.5
25 5.2 7.1 3.3
26 5.6 7.7 3.0
27 5.5 7.2 2.7
28 6.0 7.9 3.0
29 5.5 7.6 2.5
30 5.5 6.8 2.9
31 5.8 6.6  
32 6.3 7.1  
33 5.0 7.3  
34 5.1 7.4  
35 5.4 7.0  
36 4.8 7.3  
37 5.2 7.0  
38 4.8 7.7  
39 5.2 7.4  
40 5.2 7.8  
41 6.3 8.4  
42 5.8 8.4  
43 5.7 8.1  
44 6.2 7.9  
45 6.1 8.5  
46 6.2 8.0  
47 6.1 6.7  
48 6.3 7.9  
49 6.0 7.9  
50 5.9 6.2  
51 5.7 6.6  
52 5.9 6.7  
53 5.0 5.9  
54 5.5 6.1  
55 5.0 7.2  
56 4.7 6.9  
57 6.3 6.6  
58 5.0 6.6  
59 4.8 7.2  
60 5.4 6.5  
61 5.5 7.1  
62 5.3 6.6  
63 4.6 7.0  
64 4.8 6.3  
65 5.4 6.6  
66 4.7 6.7  
67 5.1 7.6  
68 4.5 6.1  
69 4.5 6.4  
70 4.4 6.7  
71 3.7 6.5  
72 3.9 6.2  
73 4.6 6.0  
74 4.3 6.4  
75 4.4 6.0  
76 4.4 6.3  
77 3.9 6.3  
78 3.4 6.0  
79 3.8 5.7  
80 4.4 6.3  
81 4.3 6.1  
82 4.6 5.9  
83   5.7  
84   5.9  
85   5.9  
86   5.4  
87   5.4  
88   5.1  
89   5.0  
90   5.5  
91   5.1  
92   4.6  
93   5.0  
94   4.9  
95   4.6  
96   5.0  
97   4.1  
98   4.3  
99   4.4  
100   4.6  
101   4.4  
102   4.0  
103   4.4  
104   4.0  
105   3.6  
106   4.1  
107   4.1  
108   4.0  
109   3.8  
110   3.3  
111   4.0  
112   4.0  
113   3.8  
114   4.0  
115   3.1  
116   3.5  
117   3.8  
118   3.5  
119   4.0  
120   3.8  
121   3.0  
122   4.0  
123   3.2  
124   3.2  
125   2.7  
126   2.4  
127   2.9  
128   3.1  
129   2.8  
130   2.8  
131   3.1  
132   2.7  
133   3.3  
134   3.5  
135   3.9  
136   3.2  
137   3.3  
138   2.8  
139   2.5  
140   2.5  
141   1.9  
142   2.2  
143   2.3  
144   2.4  
145   2.8  
146   3.2  

The Unemployment Rate Gap between White men and Black and Hispanic men is near pre-pandemic lows– accessible version

Month and Year Unemployment Rate: White: 16 Years + (SA, %) Unemployment Rate: Black: 16 Years + (SA, %) Unemployment Rate: Hispanic: 16 Years + (SA, %)
Jan:2000 8.1 3.7 4.8
Feb:2000 8.5 3.9 5.3
Mar:2000 8.3 4.0 5.0
Apr:2000 8.0 4.0 5.3
May:2000 8.5 4.2 6.4
Jun:2000 8.4 4.2 6.2
Jul:2000 8.9 4.4 6.2
Aug:2000 9.5 4.5 6.7
Sep:2000 10.5 4.8 6.5
Oct:2000 10.5 5.0 7.3
Nov:2000 11.9 5.3 7.4
Dec:2000 12.0 5.7 7.9
Jan:2001 12.5 6.0 8.0
Feb:2001 13.9 6.6 8.9
Mar:2001 14.4 7.1 9.7
Apr:2001 15.2 7.7 10.9
May:2001 15.6 8.3 11.4
Jun:2001 17.2 8.6 10.6
Jul:2001 16.6 9.0 11.5
Aug:2001 16.3 9.1 11.2
Sep:2001 16.1 9.0 12.0
Oct:2001 16.6 9.2 12.8
Nov:2001 16.2 9.4 12.3
Dec:2001 17.3 9.6 12.3
Jan:2002 17.0 9.6 11.8
Feb:2002 16.7 9.3 12.2
Mar:2002 17.9 9.3 12.4
Apr:2002 18.1 9.3 12.3
May:2002 19.3 9.1 12.1
Jun:2002 17.9 9.4 11.7
Jul:2002 16.8 8.7 11.4
Aug:2002 17.3 8.7 11.7
Sep:2002 16.6 8.7 10.9
Oct:2002 16.7 8.8 10.9
Nov:2002 17.2 8.7 11.6
Dec:2002 16.2 8.6 11.2
Jan:2003 16.9 9.1 12.1
Feb:2003 16.4 8.5 12.3
Mar:2003 16.8 8.0 11.6
Apr:2003 16.7 8.0 11.0
May:2003 17.2 7.9 10.6
Jun:2003 17.5 8.0 10.8
Jul:2003 17.3 7.8 10.4
Aug:2003 17.0 7.9 10.1
Sep:2003 16.9 7.8 9.9
Oct:2003 17.5 7.6 9.4
Nov:2003 16.3 7.6 10.0
Dec:2003 15.8 7.7 10.2
Jan:2004 16.6 7.2 9.9
Feb:2004 15.1 7.2 10.0
Mar:2004 12.8 7.0 9.4
Apr:2004 14.4 6.9 9.4
May:2004 14.1 6.8 9.3
Jun:2004 14.0 6.8 9.0
Jul:2004 14.1 6.9 9.9
Aug:2004 14.3 7.0 9.8
Sep:2004 15.1 6.8 8.8
Oct:2004 13.8 6.7 8.6
Nov:2004 14.0 6.6 8.1
Dec:2004 13.9 6.5 8.7
Jan:2005 13.2 6.4 7.9
Feb:2005 13.7 6.3 8.0
Mar:2005 13.3 6.7 8.5
Apr:2005 12.6 6.3 8.1
May:2005 12.8 6.1 7.8
Jun:2005 13.1 6.4 8.1
Jul:2005 13.5 6.4 7.6
Aug:2005 13.2 6.2 7.9
Sep:2005 12.6 6.3 8.2
Oct:2005 13.4 6.2 8.2
Nov:2005 14.1 6.1 8.0
Dec:2005 12.7 6.1 8.2
Jan:2006 12.0 5.9 7.7
Feb:2006 11.4 5.6 7.1
Mar:2006 12.0 5.4 7.0
Apr:2006 12.6 5.5 6.4
May:2006 11.9 5.2 6.4
Jun:2006 11.1 5.0 6.1
Jul:2006 11.7 5.0 6.6
Aug:2006 11.0 4.9 6.7
Sep:2006 11.6 4.7 6.5
Oct:2006 10.8 4.9 6.2
Nov:2006 11.0 4.4 5.2
Dec:2006 10.3 4.2 5.4
Jan:2007 11.0 4.6 5.9
Feb:2007 10.9 4.3 5.3
Mar:2007 10.5 4.5 5.8
Apr:2007 10.0 4.5 6.0
May:2007 9.9 4.4 5.7
Jun:2007 9.2 4.4 5.9
Jul:2007 10.6 4.3 6.1
Aug:2007 9.5 4.2 6.1
Sep:2007 8.9 4.2 6.1
Oct:2007 9.2 4.1 5.2
Nov:2007 8.9 4.1 5.3
Dec:2007 8.8 4.1 5.0
Jan:2008 10.0 4.1 5.4
Feb:2008 8.7 4.1 5.4
Mar:2008 8.2 3.7 5.0
Apr:2008 8.5 3.8 4.8
May:2008 8.5 3.9 4.9
Jun:2008 9.2 4.0 5.0
Jul:2008 7.6 3.9 4.7
Aug:2008 8.2 4.0 4.8
Sep:2008 8.2 4.1 4.8
Oct:2008 7.5 4.1 4.7
Nov:2008 8.4 4.2 5.1
Dec:2008 8.7 4.1 4.9
Jan:2009 7.9 3.9 5.0
Feb:2009 7.8 4.0 4.7
Mar:2009 7.3 3.9 4.6
Apr:2009 7.9 3.7 4.6
May:2009 8.1 3.5 4.4
Jun:2009 6.9 3.5 4.3
Jul:2009 6.6 3.5 4.4
Aug:2009 6.2 3.6 4.0
Sep:2009 7.1 3.5 4.4
Oct:2009 7.7 3.6 4.5
Nov:2009 6.9 3.5 4.0
Dec:2009 7.7 3.3 4.0
Jan:2010 7.6 3.3 4.0
Feb:2010 6.7 3.4 4.0
Mar:2010 7.4 3.2 4.1
Apr:2010 5.9 3.3 3.9
May:2010 5.8 3.2 4.1
Jun:2010 6.1 3.4 3.9
Jul:2010 6.1 3.2 3.9
Aug:2010 6.3 3.3 3.9
Sep:2010 6.1 3.0 3.4
Oct:2010 5.9 3.1 3.8
Nov:2010 6.0 3.1 3.9
Dec:2010 6.7 3.1 3.9
Jan:2011 6.1 3.0 3.6
Feb:2011 6.4 3.2 3.6
Mar:2011 7.3 3.2 3.8
Apr:2011 7.3 2.8 3.5
May:2011 6.6 3.1 3.8
Jun:2011 6.6 2.9 3.6
Jul:2011 5.9 3.0 3.5
Aug:2011 5.5 3.0 3.5
Sep:2011 5.6 3.0 3.9
Oct:2011 5.8 3.1 3.4
Nov:2011 5.4 2.9 3.2
Dec:2011