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COVID-19

June’s jobs gains weren’t just big. They were widespread across the economy.

Maria Hollenhorst and Kai Ryssdal Jul 2, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace
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Personal and laundry services, which includes dry cleaners, laundromats and other businesses, was among the many sectors that expanded payrolls in June. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
COVID-19

June’s jobs gains weren’t just big. They were widespread across the economy.

Maria Hollenhorst and Kai Ryssdal Jul 2, 2020
Personal and laundry services, which includes dry cleaners, laundromats and other businesses, was among the many sectors that expanded payrolls in June. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Though the U.S. economy still has far fewer jobs than it did before widespread pandemic shutdowns began, the Labor Department reported on Thursday that a record-breaking 4.8 million jobs were added to payrolls in June. But the gains weren’t just notable in magnitude, they were also widespread across industries. 

“In general, the job growth in June was pretty broad-based,” said Martha Gimbel, senior manager of economic research at Schmidt Futures. “Almost all industries are gaining jobs.”

About 40% of the jobs gained were in the leisure and hospitality industry. But there were also jobs added in retail, education and health services, manufacturing and professional and business services. 

“The only industry that’s really still losing jobs overall is mining and logging,” Gimbel said. 

The diffusion index, a measure of the breadth of job gains or losses across industries, jumped for the second month in a row

“So what the diffusion index is telling us is that this was in fact a pretty broad-based adding of jobs across industries,” Gimbel said. 

An important caveat to keep in mind, however, is that the data we’re seeing now was collected back in the second week of June. That’s before daily new cases of COVID-19 started spiking again

“We don’t know how the surge in COVID-19 cases has impacted the labor market,” Gimbel said. When it comes to what we know about which industries will make it through this crisis, she said, “it’s just too soon to tell.”

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What does the unemployment picture look like?

It depends on where you live. The national unemployment rate has fallen from nearly 15% in April down to 8.4% percent last month. That number, however, masks some big differences in how states are recovering from the huge job losses resulting from the pandemic. Nevada, Hawaii, California and New York have unemployment rates ranging from 11% to more than 13%. Unemployment rates in Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota and Vermont have now fallen below 5%.

Will it work to fine people who refuse to wear a mask?

Travelers in the New York City transit system are subject to $50 fines for not wearing masks. It’s one of many jurisdictions imposing financial penalties: It’s $220 in Singapore, $130 in the United Kingdom and a whopping $400 in Glendale, California. And losses loom larger than gains, behavioral scientists say. So that principle suggests that for policymakers trying to nudge people’s public behavior, it may be better to take away than to give.

How are restaurants recovering?

Nearly 100,000 restaurants are closed either permanently or for the long term — nearly 1 in 6, according to a new survey by the National Restaurant Association. Almost 4.5 million jobs still haven’t come back. Some restaurants have been able to get by on innovation, focusing on delivery, selling meal or cocktail kits, dining outside — though that option that will disappear in northern states as temperatures fall. But however you slice it, one analyst said, the United States will end the year with fewer restaurants than it began with. And it’s the larger chains that are more likely to survive.

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