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Who's Hiring And Who's Firing: More Than Half Of All Job Gains Were Bartenders And Teachers

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jul 02, 2021 - 10:27 AM

There was a glaring contradiction in today's jobs report which on one hand indicated an impressive gain in payrolls (measured by the Establishment survey), which rose 850K in June, and well above expectations, while on the other hand, the number of employed people (measured by the Household survey) actually declined by 18K to 151.602MM. While we assume this discrepancy was due to seasonal adjustments in the Establishment survey and will be revised in coming months, we take a look at the job sectors that moved the most in the month of June.

In keeping with tradition, one of the biggest jumps was in the food service and drinking places, i.e., waiters and bartenders, which jumped by a whopping 194,300 in June. This was the 6th consecutive month of growth for the sector, and the 5th in a row with more than 100,000 job gains.

While continued gains in this job category are hardly a surprise, what was surprising is that according to the BLS June saw a surge in teachers, as "employment rose by 155,000 in local government education, by 75,000 in state government education, and by 39,000 in private education" or a total of 269,000. Which is bizarre to say the least as it happens just as the school year ends.

How can that be? Well, not even the BLS is sure, noting that "in both public and private education, staffing fluctuations due to the pandemic, in part reflecting the return to in-person learning and other school-related activities, have distorted the normal seasonal buildup and layoff patterns, likely contributing to the job gains in June." The most likely explanation: seasonal distortions, to wit: "Without the typical seasonal employment increases earlier, there were fewer layoffs at the end of the school year, resulting in job gains after seasonal adjustment."

In other words, the usual GIGO from the DOL, but that's the "data" we have which means that more than half of all job gains in June were from waiters/bartenders and teachers, which collectively added 463,300 seasonally-adjusted jobs, or 55% of the 850,000 gain.

Here is a full breakdown of all the job gains in June

  • Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 343,000, as pandemic- related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country. Over half of the job gain was in food services and drinking places (+194,000). Employment also continued to increase in accommodation (+75,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+74,000).
  • Employment rose by 155,000 in local government education, by 75,000 in state government education, and by 39,000 in private education, or a total of 269K new teachers! In both public and private education, staffing fluctuations due to the pandemic, in part reflecting the return to in-person learning and other school-related activities, have distorted the normal seasonal buildup and layoff patterns, likely contributing to the job gains in June. (Without the typical seasonal employment increases earlier, there were fewer layoffs at the end of the school year, resulting in job gains after seasonal adjustment.) These variations make it more challenging to discern the current employment trends in these industries.
  • Employment in professional and business services rose by 72,000 in June but is down by 633,000 since February 2020. In June,  employment rose in temporary help services (+33,000), advertising and related services (+8,000), scientific research and development services (+7,000), and legal services (+6,000).
  • Retail trade added 67,000 jobs in June, but employment is down by 303,000, or 1.9 percent, since February 2020. Over the month, job growth in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+28,000), general merchandise stores (+25,000), miscellaneous store retailers (+13,000), and automobile dealers (+8,000) was partially offset by losses in food and beverage stores (-13,000) and health and personal care stores (-7,000).
  • The other services industry added 56,000 jobs in June, with gains in personal and laundry services (+29,000), in membership associations and organizations (+18,000), and in repair and maintenance (+9,000).
  • Employment in social assistance rose by 32,000 in June, largely in child day care services (+25,000). Employment in social assistance is down by 236,000 from its level in February 2020.
  • In June, wholesale trade added 21,000 jobs, with gains in both the durable and nondurable goods components (+14,000 and +9,000, respectively).
  • Employment in mining rose by 10,000 in June, reflecting a gain in support activities for mining.
  • Employment in manufacturing changed little in June (+15,000). Within the industry, job gains in furniture and related products (+9,000), fabricated metal products (+6,000), and primary metals (+3,000) were partially offset by a loss in motor vehicles and parts (-12,000).
  • Employment in transportation and warehousing was little changed in June (+11,000). Employment gains in warehousing and storage (+14,000), air transportation (+8,000), and truck transportation (+6,000) were partially offset by a loss in couriers and messengers (-24,000).
  • Construction employment changed little in June (-7,000). Over-the-month job losses in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-15,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000) were partially offset by a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (+13,000).

And visually:

Finally, courtesy of Bloomberg, here are the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month. Additionally, monthly growth rates are shown for the prior year. The latest month’s figures are highlighted.

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