Employment rose by almost one million new jobs in July 2021, resulting in an unemployment rate of just 5.4% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job gains were made in leisure and hospitality (380,000), local government (221,000), professional and business services (60,000), and private education (40,000). Still, 8.7 million individuals remain out of work. Almost 40% of those are the long-term unemployed who have been jobless for 27 weeks or longer.
“While we’re continuing to see an improvement in our nation’s labor market, the ongoing labor shortage — coupled with concerns about the Delta variant — continues to be an issue for many businesses looking to fill open positions,” says Michael Smith, global CEO of Randstad Sourceright. “With federal unemployment benefits set to expire next month, employers should embrace flexibility to entice unemployed individuals back into the labor force.”
Smith hits on an important expectation of post-pandemic workers: flexible hours and work-from-home options. He recommends that employers leverage contingent labor to fill gaps while recovery remains underway.
“Not only does this approach create a robust talent pipeline that provides flexibility, but it also helps build relationships with temporary workers who could be transitioned to permanent roles as needed.”
Get a full picture of the July BLS statistics in Hunt Scanlon. You can also get your exclusive copy of the Q2 issue of Talent Trends Quarterly, “The rise of the agile workforce,” for insights on building your agile workforce for business readiness.
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