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The sector has still not reached February 2020 levels and the COVID-19 pandemic is having lingering economic effects.

Unemployment in the United States fell to 3.5% in July, the lowest in more than 50 years, according to the latest jobs report and comments from the White House.

Nationally, employment rose by 528,000 last month, with gains in health care, recreation and hospitality, and professional and business services, according to the situation summary. July employment from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of unemployed was estimated at 5.7 million and unemployment rate measures returned to levels in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Care Employment

Despite gains in several areas of health care, overall employment in this sector remains below the February 2020 level of 78,000 workers, or 0.5%, according to the BLS report.

Even so, health care added 69,600 jobs in July, rising to more than 16.41 million jobs across the sector. Ambulatory health care services added 47,300 jobs for a total of more than 8.2 million positions. Doctors’ offices added 12,800 jobs, reaching more than 2.83 million jobs in total.

Offices of other health care practitioners added 16,000 jobs, reaching a total of over 1.09 million, while outpatient care centers added 5,700 jobs for a total of over 1.02 million. Jobs in medical and diagnostic laboratories were flat month-over-month at around 314,000 jobs, and other ambulatory healthcare services posted the only decline in the sector, shedding around 400 jobs to fall to 316,700 workers.

The pandemic persists

Last month, 2.2 million people said they were unable to work because their employer had closed or lost their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 548,000 people were prevented from working. to look for work due to the pandemic. Both numbers were “little changed from the previous month,” with the BLS not providing an explanation.

In July, leisure and hospitality added 96,000 jobs, with growth continuing in food services and drinking places which added more than 74,000 jobs. This sector remains below February employment levels of 1.2 million, or 7.1%.

Professional and business services added 89,000 jobs in July, with gains in management, architecture and engineering, technical management and consulting, and scientific research and development. This sector had 986,000 more jobs in July than in February 2020, according to the BLS.

President’s comments

The White House released a statement from President Joe Biden in response to the jobs report.

“Today, the unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than 50 years: 3.5%,” the statement said. “More people are working than at any time in American history. That’s millions of families with the dignity and peace of mind that comes with a paycheck.

“And that’s the result of my economic plan to build the economy from the bottom up,” the president’s statement said. “I ran for president to rebuild the middle class – there’s still work to do, but today’s jobs report shows we’re making significant progress for working families.”