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 YearJobs Added
Nov:2007138284
Dec:2007138392
Jan:2008138403
Feb:2008138324
Mar:2008138275
Apr:2008138035
May:2008137858
Jun:2008137687
Jul:2008137491
Aug:2008137213
Sep:2008136753
Oct:2008136272
Nov:2008135545
Dec:2008134839
Jan:2009134055
Feb:2009133312
Mar:2009132512
Apr:2009131817
May:2009131475
Jun:2009131008
Jul:2009130668
Aug:2009130485
Sep:2009130244
Oct:2009130045
Nov:2009130057
Dec:2009129788
Jan:2010129790
Feb:2010129698
Mar:2010129879
Apr:2010130110
May:2010130650
Jun:2010130511
Jul:2010130427
Aug:2010130422
Sep:2010130357
Oct:2010130625
Nov:2010130750
Dec:2010130822
Jan:2011130841
Feb:2011131053
Mar:2011131288
Apr:2011131602
May:2011131703
Jun:2011131939
Jul:2011131999
Aug:2011132125
Sep:2011132358
Oct:2011132562
Nov:2011132694
Dec:2011132896
Jan:2012133250
Feb:2012133512
Mar:2012133752
Apr:2012133834
May:2012133934
Jun:2012134007
Jul:2012134159
Aug:2012134331
Sep:2012134518
Oct:2012134677
Nov:2012134833
Dec:2012135072
Jan:2013135263
Feb:2013135541
Mar:2013135680
Apr:2013135871
May:2013136093
Jun:2013136274
Jul:2013136386
Aug:2013136628
Sep:2013136815
Oct:2013137040
Nov:2013137304
Dec:2013137373
Jan:2014137548
Feb:2014137714
Mar:2014137968
Apr:2014138293
May:2014138511
Jun:2014138837
Jul:2014139069
Aug:2014139257
Sep:2014139566
Oct:2014139818
Nov:2014140109
Dec:2014140377
Jan:2015140568
Feb:2015140839
Mar:2015140910
Apr:2015141194
May:2015141525
Jun:2015141699
Jul:2015142001
Aug:2015142126
Sep:2015142281
Oct:2015142587
Nov:2015142824
Dec:2015143097
Jan:2016143205
Feb:2016143417
Mar:2016143654
Apr:2016143851
May:2016143892
Jun:2016144150
Jul:2016144521
Aug:2016144664
Sep:2016144953
Oct:2016145071
Nov:2016145201
Dec:2016145415
Jan:2017145628
Feb:2017145818
Mar:2017145960
Apr:2017146165
May:2017146388
Jun:2017146585
Jul:2017146768
Aug:2017146913
Sep:2017147012
Oct:2017147153
Nov:2017147353
Dec:2017147529
Jan:2018147662
Feb:2018148064
Mar:2018148289
Apr:2018148468
May:2018148801
Jun:2018148984
Jul:2018149050
Aug:2018149269
Sep:2018149326
Oct:2018149471
Nov:2018149573
Dec:2018149821
Jan:2019150100
Feb:2019150124
Mar:2019150348
Apr:2019150636
May:2019150713
Jun:2019150843
Jul:2019150921
Aug:2019151081
Sep:2019151244
Oct:2019151337
Nov:2019151589
Dec:2019151789
Jan:2020152128
Feb:2020152504
Mar:2020151006
Apr:2020130513
May:2020133155
Jun:2020137660
Jul:2020139048
Aug:2020140713
Sep:2020141632
Oct:2020142279
Nov:2020142612
Dec:2020142497
Jan:2021143017
Feb:2021143727
Mar:2021144431
Apr:2021144694
May:2021145141
Jun:2021145698
Jul:2021146387
Aug:2021146904
Sep:2021147328
Oct:2021148005
Nov:2021148652
Dec:2021149240
Jan:2022149744
Feb:2022150458
Mar:2022150856
Apr:2022151224
May:2022151608
Jun:2022151980

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

Months since business cycle peak 2001-20072007-20202020-today
12.51.91.4
22.51.92.0
32.51.84.7
42.62.45.3
52.22.74.5
62.22.13.6
72.42.63.2
82.42.33.4
92.42.62.9
102.62.62.6
112.72.93.3
122.02.52.9
132.52.72.9
142.83.02.4
152.03.72.4
162.33.72.0
172.23.31.9
182.43.81.6
192.33.41.7
202.83.81.9
212.74.11.8
222.83.71.5
232.73.61.7
242.63.21.5
252.73.81.1
262.34.11.0
272.63.80.9
282.84.01.1
292.63.51.0
302.33.30.8
312.03.7 
322.43.7 
332.23.4 
341.73.7 
352.33.7 
362.54.0 
372.54.4 
382.14.2 
392.03.7 
401.63.6 
412.13.8 
422.13.7 
432.23.4 
442.23.2 
452.13.3 
462.13.3 
471.53.4 
481.73.5 
491.33.6 
502.03.3 
511.63.5 
521.43.3 
531.32.9 
541.63.5 
552.03.6 
561.62.9 
571.82.9 
581.92.7 
591.43.1 
601.33.1 
611.22.7 
621.42.6 
630.92.9 
641.12.6 
651.12.3 
661.22.3 
671.62.5 
680.92.9 
691.12.8 
701.12.5 
711.32.8 
721.02.6 
731.22.4 
741.62.6 
751.92.4 
761.42.1 
771.71.9 
781.32.3 
791.72.5 
801.62.4 
811.72.1 
821.91.7 
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 2001-20072007-20202020-today
14.64.63.0
24.14.72.9
34.14.02.5
44.34.74.5
54.04.25.2
64.84.85.2
74.64.45.4
84.84.85.1
94.95.24.9
105.05.94.4
114.95.53.9
124.95.33.5
135.55.44.3
145.55.64.2
155.16.14.4
165.45.74.0
174.66.93.9
184.76.53.4
194.66.14.2
204.76.13.6
215.65.93.9
226.26.42.8
235.36.63.9
245.66.53.5
255.27.13.3
265.67.73.0
275.57.22.7
286.07.93.0
295.57.62.5
305.56.82.9
315.86.6 
326.37.1 
335.07.3 
345.17.4 
355.47.0 
364.87.3 
375.27.0 
384.87.7 
395.27.4 
405.27.8 
416.38.4 
425.88.4 
435.78.1 
446.27.9 
456.18.5 
466.28.0 
476.16.7 
486.37.9 
496.07.9 
505.96.2 
515.76.6 
525.96.7 
535.05.9 
545.56.1 
555.07.2 
564.76.9 
576.36.6 
585.06.6 
594.87.2 
605.46.5 
615.57.1 
625.36.6 
634.67.0 
644.86.3 
655.46.6 
664.76.7 
675.17.6 
684.56.1 
694.56.4 
704.46.7 
713.76.5 
723.96.2 
734.66.0 
744.36.4 
754.46.0 
764.46.3 
773.96.3 
783.46.0 
793.85.7 
804.46.3 
814.36.1 
824.65.9 
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 YearUnemployment Rate: White: 16 Years + (SA, %)Unemployment Rate: Black: 16 Years + (SA, %)Unemployment Rate: Hispanic: 16 Years + (SA, %)
Jan:20008.13.74.8
Feb:20008.53.95.3
Mar:20008.34.05.0
Apr:20008.04.05.3
May:20008.54.26.4
Jun:20008.44.26.2
Jul:20008.94.46.2
Aug:20009.54.56.7
Sep:200010.54.86.5
Oct:200010.55.07.3
Nov:200011.95.37.4
Dec:200012.05.77.9
Jan:200112.56.08.0
Feb:200113.96.68.9
Mar:200114.47.19.7
Apr:200115.27.710.9
May:200115.68.311.4
Jun:200117.28.610.6
Jul:200116.69.011.5
Aug:200116.39.111.2
Sep:200116.19.012.0
Oct:200116.69.212.8
Nov:200116.29.412.3
Dec:200117.39.612.3
Jan:200217.09.611.8
Feb:200216.79.312.2
Mar:200217.99.312.4
Apr:200218.19.312.3
May:200219.39.112.1
Jun:200217.99.411.7
Jul:200216.88.711.4
Aug:200217.38.711.7
Sep:200216.68.710.9
Oct:200216.78.810.9
Nov:200217.28.711.6
Dec:200216.28.611.2
Jan:200316.99.112.1
Feb:200316.48.512.3
Mar:200316.88.011.6
Apr:200316.78.011.0
May:200317.27.910.6
Jun:200317.58.010.8
Jul:200317.37.810.4
Aug:200317.07.910.1
Sep:200316.97.89.9
Oct:200317.57.69.4
Nov:200316.37.610.0
Dec:200315.87.710.2
Jan:200416.67.29.9
Feb:200415.17.210.0
Mar:200412.87.09.4
Apr:200414.46.99.4
May:200414.16.89.3
Jun:200414.06.89.0
Jul:200414.16.99.9
Aug:200414.37.09.8
Sep:200415.16.88.8
Oct:200413.86.78.6
Nov:200414.06.68.1
Dec:200413.96.58.7
Jan:200513.26.47.9
Feb:200513.76.38.0
Mar:200513.36.78.5
Apr:200512.66.38.1
May:200512.86.17.8
Jun:200513.16.48.1
Jul:200513.56.47.6
Aug:200513.26.27.9
Sep:200512.66.38.2
Oct:200513.46.28.2
Nov:200514.16.18.0
Dec:200512.76.18.2
Jan:200612.05.97.7
Feb:200611.45.67.1
Mar:200612.05.47.0
Apr:200612.65.56.4
May:200611.95.26.4
Jun:200611.15.06.1
Jul:200611.75.06.6
Aug:200611.04.96.7
Sep:200611.64.76.5
Oct:200610.84.96.2
Nov:200611.04.45.2
Dec:200610.34.25.4
Jan:200711.04.65.9
Feb:200710.94.35.3
Mar:200710.54.55.8
Apr:200710.04.56.0
May:20079.94.45.7
Jun:20079.24.45.9
Jul:200710.64.36.1
Aug:20079.54.26.1
Sep:20078.94.26.1
Oct:20079.24.15.2
Nov:20078.94.15.3
Dec:20078.84.15.0
Jan:200810.04.15.4
Feb:20088.74.15.4
Mar:20088.23.75.0
Apr:20088.53.84.8
May:20088.53.94.9
Jun:20089.24.05.0
Jul:20087.63.94.7
Aug:20088.24.04.8
Sep:20088.24.14.8
Oct:20087.54.14.7
Nov:20088.44.25.1
Dec:20088.74.14.9
Jan:20097.93.95.0
Feb:20097.84.04.7
Mar:20097.33.94.6
Apr:20097.93.74.6
May:20098.13.54.4
Jun:20096.93.54.3
Jul:20096.63.54.4
Aug:20096.23.64.0
Sep:20097.13.54.4
Oct:20097.73.64.5
Nov:20096.93.54.0
Dec:20097.73.34.0
Jan:20107.63.34.0
Feb:20106.73.44.0
Mar:20107.43.24.1
Apr:20105.93.33.9
May:20105.83.24.1
Jun:20106.13.43.9
Jul:20106.13.23.9
Aug:20106.33.33.9
Sep:20106.13.03.4
Oct:20105.93.13.8
Nov:20106.03.13.9
Dec:20106.73.13.9
Jan:20116.13.03.6
Feb:20116.43.23.6
Mar:20117.33.23.8
Apr:20117.32.83.5
May:20116.63.13.8
Jun:20116.62.93.6
Jul:20115.93.03.5
Aug:20115.53.03.5
Sep:20115.63.03.9
Oct:20115.83.13.4
Nov:20115.42.93.2
Dec:20115.23.03.4
Jan:20125.13.03.2
Feb:20125.92.83.2
Mar:20125.92.83.3
Apr:20126.12.83.1
May:20127.03.75.0
Jun:201216.012.316.5
Jul:201215.310.715.2
Aug:201216.08.912.8
Sep:201215.08.311.3
Oct:201213.26.99.9
Nov:201212.86.58.9
Dec:201211.55.98.3
Jan:201311.55.98.0
Feb:201310.55.88.9
Mar:20139.45.57.6
Apr:201310.15.37.5
May:20139.75.27.2
Jun:201310.25.37.1
Jul:20139.75.16.4
Aug:20139.95.26.3
Sep:20138.54.85.9
Oct:20139.04.45.6
Nov:20137.94.25.6
Dec:20138.23.65.0
Jan:20147.23.34.5
Feb:20147.03.04.2
Mar:20147.13.24.3
Apr:20146.43.03.7
May:20145.63.13.8
Jun:20146.13.13.7
Jul:20145.73.13.4
Aug:20145.33.13.4
Sep:20145.111.06.8
Oct:20144.910.66.8
Nov:20145.010.96.6
Dec:20144.710.66.4
Jan:20154.910.36.7
Feb:20154.710.16.8
Mar:20154.89.96.8
Apr:20154.79.76.8
May:20154.810.36.8
Jun:20154.69.76.7
Jul:20154.59.16.9
Aug:20154.49.46.6
Sep:20154.49.36.2
Oct:20154.49.06.3
Nov:20154.49.46.4
Dec:20154.48.56.2
Jan:20164.28.55.9
Feb:20164.28.65.5
Mar:20164.38.95.6
Apr:20164.48.86.2
May:20164.28.25.7
Jun:20164.38.76.0
Jul:20164.28.25.4
Aug:20164.48.05.6
Sep:20164.48.56.2
Oct:20164.48.55.7
Nov:20164.28.25.6
Dec:20164.28.05.8
Jan:20174.27.55.8
Feb:20174.08.05.6
Mar:20173.87.85.0
Apr:20173.97.75.2
May:20173.77.75.2
Jun:20173.86.95.0
Jul:20173.87.35.1
Aug:20173.97.75.1
Sep:20173.77.25.1
Oct:20173.67.65.0
Nov:20173.77.54.9
Dec:20173.76.75.0
Jan:20183.57.54.9
Feb:20183.66.84.9
Mar:20183.56.74.9
Apr:20183.66.34.7
May:20183.55.94.8
Jun:20183.56.44.6
Jul:20183.46.54.5
Aug:20183.56.34.7
Sep:20183.36.14.6
Oct:20183.46.54.4
Nov:20183.46.14.7
Dec:20183.46.74.5
Jan:20193.57.04.7
Feb:20193.27.14.3
Mar:20193.36.54.5
Apr:20193.26.54.1
May:20193.36.14.2
Jun:20193.35.84.3
Jul:20193.35.84.4
Aug:20193.55.44.2
Sep:20193.25.44.0
Oct:20193.35.64.2
Nov:20193.25.64.3
Dec:20193.26.04.3
Jan:20203.16.34.3
Feb:20203.06.04.4
Mar:20203.96.85.9
Apr:202014.116.618.8
May:202012.316.817.6
Jun:202010.015.214.5
Jul:20209.214.412.8
Aug:20207.412.810.6
Sep:20207.012.110.4
Oct:20206.010.98.9
Nov:20206.010.48.6
Dec:20206.110.09.4
Jan:20215.79.28.6
Feb:20215.59.88.4
Mar:20215.39.57.7
Apr:20215.39.77.7
May:20215.19.17.1
Jun:20215.39.27.2
Jul:20214.88.26.4
Aug:20214.58.76.2
Sep:20214.27.86.1
Oct:20213.97.85.7
Nov:20213.76.55.2
Dec:20213.27.14.9
Jan:20223.46.94.9
Feb:20223.36.64.4
Mar:20223.26.24.2
Apr:20223.25.94.1
May:20223.26.24.3
Jun:20223.35.84.3
Jul:20223.16.03.9

 

 

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

Month and YearUnemployment Rate: Black Women: 20 Years & Over (SA, %)Unemployment Rate: White Women: 20 Years & Over (SA, %)Unemployment Rate: 20 Years & Over, Hispanic or Latino, Women (SA, %)
Dec:20077.13.96.5
Jan:20087.43.86.6
Feb:20086.63.85.7
Mar:20087.84.05.9
Apr:20087.43.76.4
May:20088.14.06.2
Jun:20087.64.27.2
Jul:20087.44.36.9
Aug:20088.94.87.3
Sep:20089.14.36.6
Oct:20088.94.97.7
Nov:20089.25.17.5
Dec:20088.85.68.3
Jan:20099.36.09.0
Feb:200910.36.110.0
Mar:200910.46.510.5
Apr:200911.36.410.4
May:200911.56.811.0
Jun:200911.66.911.4
Jul:200911.86.911.2
Aug:200911.87.010.7
Sep:200912.57.110.8
Oct:200912.57.310.9
Nov:200911.97.410.7
Dec:200912.87.310.9
Jan:201013.2