So how did we do on the jobs front in July? Obviously we’re in new territory these days, but I think the answer is “meh”:
The BLS reports that we gained 1.8 million jobs, which is less than half what we gained in June. On the unemployment front, there were 6.3 million fewer workers who had been unemployed for 5-14 weeks, but 4.6 million more workers who had been unemployed for 15-26 weeks. The industries with the biggest gains were leisure, temp services, and retail.
On the earnings front, the news was all bad: hourly wages of blue-collar workers were down about 5 percent on an annualized basis. Wages for retail workers were down 3.4 percent from June, or 42 percent on an annualized basis. That’s not a typo. It would appear that retailers took the opportunity of COVID-19 to slash pay for their workers. Isn’t that lovely?