July Report: U.S. Economy Regains Jobs Lost During Pandemic July Report: U.S. Economy Regains Jobs Lost During Pandemic
US Jobs report

July Report: U.S. Economy Regains Jobs Lost During Pandemic

In March of 2020, following a month that saw unemployment fall to 3.5%, the United States economy shed 459,000 jobs. This was followed up by a massive 20.5 million job loss in April, bringing unemployment to 14.7%. Now, 27 months later, the U.S. has returned to that February 2020 high.

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the economy added 528,000 jobs in July. This was more than double the 258,000 jobs economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expected (as reported by Marketwatch). Additionally, unemployment ticked down to 3.5%, tying a 50-year low that was also hit in February 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the U.S. However, the 62.1% labor force participation rate for July 2022 is still below the pre-pandemic rate of 63.4%.

Notably, the impressive jobs report arrives on the heels of news that the U.S. economy contracted for the second straight quarter. In Q2, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.9% following a 1.6% decline in Q1. Traditionally, this would indicate that the United States was in a recession. However, some economists have argued that this isn’t the case this time, citing strong employment figures.

As expected, hourly pay rates also continued to rise. In July, the average hourly wage increased 0.5% to hit $32.27. Although the 5.2% increase in average wage over the past 12 months is the fastest rate of growth in nearly 40 years, that figure still puts wage growth below the rate of inflation, which reached 9.1% in June.

Offering commentary on the jobs report and the unique economic circumstances, Navy Federal Credit Union corporate economist Robert Frick stated, “A stunningly strong jobs report shows that small cracks in the labor market haven’t slowed the engine of the expansion.” However, Frisk mentions the Federal Reserve, noting,”[T]his will likely cause it to push rates higher, faster.”

Elsewhere, Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao summarized the situation, saying, “The labor market remains a pillar of strength, holding up the economy even as the economy slows around it.”

The counterintuitive nature of the current U.S. economy was already baffling observers prior to this latest jobs report — and the actual results only make matters more interesting. Despite GDP suggesting a recession is in progress, the labor market continues to excel. Meanwhile, inflation complicates the situation even further and will likely result in more Fed intervention. All of this aside, the fact that the United States has now reclaimed the positions it lost at the start of the pandemic is significant. As for the rest, we’ll have to wait and see where this “topsy turvy” economy heads next.

The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

FedEx Announces Winners of 11th Annual 2023 Small Business Grant Contest

Nearly three months after the entry period ended, FedEx has announced the winners of its 11th annual Small Business Grant Content. This year's event saw more than $300,000 in funds going to a variety of small businesses across the nation. Last month, the company revealed 100 finalists, with that list now being narrowed down to just 10 winners. This year's grand prize winners included KindVR, The Cupcake Collection, Up In...
Summer app

Student Loan Benefit FinTech Summer Raises $6 Million

For years, student debt has been one of the most talked about financial topics. What's more, while the debt itself has become a major part of many Americans' lives, discussion of student loans has become political due to efforts to forgive certain loan repayments. However, while we wait for resolution on that front, a FinTech that brings student debt benefit solutions to employers and consumers has raised a new round...
H-E-B and Central Market  credit cards

Imprint Launches Credit Cards from H-E-B and Central Market 

The FinTech Imprint is partnering with the popular Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B for a pair of new rewards credit cards. This week saw the launch of the H-E-B Visa Signature Credit Card as well as the Central Market Visa Signature Credit Card. With these two (nearly identical) options, customers will be able to earn rewards on groceries and beyond. First, both versions of the card earn up to 5% back on select...
Melissa Urban holding a Ness card

Health and Wellness Rewards Card Ness Partners with Whole30

In recent years, several unique rewards cards have come to market. These include offerings from FinTech startups as well as brands looking to do something special for their loyal fans. On that note, a recently-announced rewards credit card offering is now working with a popular brand to introduce new benefits for customers. This week, the Ness Card (which is issued by The Bank of Missouri) unveiled a new partnership with...
Choice Privileges Select Card

Choice Hotels, Wells Fargo Debut Choice Privileges Select Card

With spring well underway and the summer travel season now just around the corner, Choice Hotels and Wells Fargo have unveiled their latest co-branded credit card offering. Today, the two companies announced the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard. Carrying an annual fee of $95, this card will serve as the premium option in the hotel brand's new lineup. Looking at the Choice Privileges Select, it offers a mix of rewards categories....