Steady gains in June and July were followed by significant, albeit uneven, jump in August, exceeding the March 1st baseline for the first time.
• The pandemic’s initial impact to hiring – sharp, across-the-board cuts in late March – has given way to a slow, sustained increase in the number of new job listings each day.
• Results by industry have begun to show even wider divergence, with some industries moving into positive territory (v. March 1st) and many others lagging.
• State-level partial reopenings boosted job demand in June and July, starting with Retail and Hospitality sectors, followed by increases in Healthcare and Services.
• After the initial dip in late March and April, companies appeared to be ‘playing it safe’ with hiring. Since mid-June, job postings have been rising, signaling that businesses are mostly reversing their operational pause, presumably having developed new protocols to prevent COVID spread.
• Meanwhile, weekly initial unemployment claims, as tracked by the US DOL, have been very slowly declining from record levels in March, but are still much higher than pre-pandemic levels and remain close to one million new claims per week.
• From the BLS, we have seen downward trend in the unemployment rate (a good thing) and we can connect many of the changes back to industries that have been posting more jobs in the weeks prior.