Hickey Jobs Report Update – August 2021

Hickey Jobs Report Update – US adds 235,000 jobs as unemployment drops to 5.2% in August 2021.

U.S. economy adds 235,000 jobs and unemployment drops by only .2%, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs Report.

This month’s release of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics July 2021 Employment Situation Summary, often referred to as the Jobs Report, shows new job gains starting to slow as the economy inches closer to pre-pandemic numbers. The unemployment rate did not improve as predicted last month by economists and sits at 5.2%, still considerably up from 3.5% in February 2020.

Hourly wages continue to trend upwards for the fourth straight month, gaining 17 cents across all nonfarm payrolls. Closing the gap on that “last mile” of employment numbers has proven difficult due to continued covid outbreaks, but employers’ willingness to lure workers back with higher pay may help get the economy back to pre-pandemic levels.

Key Industries

Leisure and Hospitality

After six months of strong growth, the industry plateaued in August, remaining mostly unchanged. This hard-hit sector is still down by 1.7 million jobs from February 2020.


Private education continues to make steady gains by adding 40k jobs in August. State government education lost 21k jobs and local government education experienced little fluctuation, losing 6k jobs. State and local government enjoyed steady growth during June and July as they ramped up for the school year, but back to school season is here and the sector is still down by 565k jobs from February 2020.

Professional and Business Services

74k jobs were added in August, but the industry is still down by 468k compared to February 2020. Half of the jobs which have not yet recovered – 262k – are in temporary help services. Architectural and engineering services contributed the most gains with 19k new jobs.


37k jobs were added in manufacturing in August, but the industry is still down from February 2020 by 378k jobs.

Transportation and Warehousing

Growth in the courier/messenger and warehousing/storage sectors brought employment above pre-pandemic levels by adding 20k jobs in August. Air transportation added 11k jobs which helped offset a lose of 8k jobs in transit and ground passenger transportation.

Retail Trade

Retail continues to decline with most of the 29k jobs lost during August occurring in food and beverage stores. The industry is still down by 285k from February 2020.

Other Industries

Among other industries across the U.S. economy, the following employment numbers were released in the latest report:

  • Healthcare: Little Change
  • Financial: +16k
  • Construction: Little Change
  • Wholesale Trade: Little Change
  • Information: +17k
  • Mining: +6k

For more information on the latest Jobs Report, including additional details on the data concepts and statistical methodologies utilized, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary website.