Employers Sustained Aggressive Hiring in July as Delta Variant Overshadows Outlook
- Unemployment steadily tightens. Job creation surpassed 900,000 new positions for the second consecutive month in July, lowering the unemployment rate 50 basis points month over month to 5.4 percent.
- Retail and hotel fundamentals continue to improve. The leisure and hospitality sector again led hiring last month with the addition of 380,000 personnel.
- Multifamily leasing resumes in force. Ongoing employment growth and the resumption of many normal routines bolstered household formation in the spring and summer, leading to a record number of apartments being absorbed in the second quarter.
- COVID-19 variants complicate current outlook. The spread of the Delta variant raises concerns about economic growth in the second half of the year.
- Higher wages, inflation may affect monetary policy. The number of unemployed fell to 8.7 million in July, below the 9.2 million jobs open in May.