by Maurie Backman | Aug. 6, 2021
Many or all of the products here are from our partners. We may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
July's numbers beat analysts expectations as more jobs were added.
In June, the national unemployment rate rose to 5.9% from 5.8% in May. That increase surprised economists, especially since 850,000 jobs were added that month.
Meanwhile, analysts were expecting July's jobless rate to drop to 5.7%. And they were pleasantly surprised in that regard.
Tips and tricks from the experts delivered straight to your inbox that could help you save thousands of dollars. Sign up now for free access to our Personal Finance Boot Camp.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
The U.S. jobless rate actually fell to 5.4% in July, and last month, hiring rose at its fastest rate in almost a year. A good 943,000 jobs were added in July, which is more than the 845,000 economists were expecting.
Average hourly wages also rose 0.4% in July. They're now up 4% from the same time a year ago.
Of the 943,000 new roles added in July, leisure and hospitality led the pack in job creation. The industry, which was among the most hard-hit during the pandemic, managed to add 380,000 positions last month. Hiring was also strong in the education field.
July's jobless data is a big relief on a number of levels. But it doesn't mean we're out of the woods as far as the economy goes.
While it's a good thing that so many jobs were added last month, the circulating Delta variant could threaten the economy's recovery. So far, some cities have taken steps to curb the spread of the outbreak by imposing mask mandates. If things get worse, other restrictions may become necessary. And if that happens, more jobs could be shed, and businesses may also lose the ability to add new jobs.
As such, now's really a good time to do a checkup on your personal finances. Anyone who doesn't have at least three months' worth of living expenses tucked away in a savings account should make an effort to spend a little less in the near term to hit that goal. And jobless workers who are currently collecting an extra $300 a week in their unemployment checks should consider doing the same.
Though that boost is only in effect in about half of U.S. states, it's still a lifeline for people who don't have other cash reserves to fall back on. But that boost is set to expire in early September, and based on July's jobs report, it's unlikely that lawmakers will take steps to extend it beyond that point.
Along these lines, if the jobless rate keeps falling, it's unlikely that we'll see a fourth stimulus check hit American' bank accounts anytime soon. Anyone counting on that relief should start thinking up a backup plan to help boost earnings. This is an especially important thing to do given that inflation recently reached a record-high level, and that the general cost of living has risen for a lot of people.
All told, July's jobless news was surprising in a very good way. Now, we need to hope that the unemployment rate continues to drop so that the economy can slowly but surely work its way back to normal.
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card secures you a 0% intro APR into 2023! Plus, you’ll pay no annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.