The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in July, falling slightly short of analysts’ expectations of 200,000 jobs. Additionally, the agency notes that new job creation in May and June combined was lower than previously reported — by 49,000 positions.
Education and health services employers led the way with payroll expansion last month, adding a robust 100,000 new jobs. These industries also saw notable job gains in July, according to the latest jobs report: Financial activities: 19,000 jobs added Construction: 19,000 jobs added Wholesale trade: 17,900 jobs added Leisure and hospitality: 17,000 jobs added Government: 15,000 jobs added Retail trade: 8,500 jobs added
The BLS reports that the national unemployment rate was 3.5% in July, edging down from 3.6% in June. The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older — the professionals most highly sought-after by many employers — was unchanged at 2.0%.
Other data from the BLS shows there were 9.6 million job openings in the United States on the last business day of June. That figure is little changed from the 9.8 million reported in May. The level of job openings reported by the BLS suggests that many organizations have critical projects on the horizon and are prioritizing business needs. However, Robert Half’s research indicates that employers are taking longer to staff positions. That could cause them to miss out on hiring the talent they need to support those needs. The BLS also reports that 3.8 million workers quit their jobs voluntarily in June, down slightly from 4 million in May. The high number of quits indicates many professionals remain optimistic about their job prospects, and the second half of the year is an important time for them to consider their options. And it appears that many professionals have already launched a job search or plan to do so soon: According to separate research from Robert Half, 25% of workers are looking for a new role now and another 24% plan to start their search by year-end. The top reason respondents cited for wanting to make move? The desire to earn a higher salary (55%).
Equip yourself with information about current salary and hiring trends to support your job search or business strategy. The latest Salary Guide From Robert Half features exclusive data and input from employers, workers and our recruiters who staff tens of thousands of jobs each year — real numbers combined with real-world insights you’ll only find from Robert Half. Access the Salary Guide now