Robust settings in restaurants and bars, local public schools, and retailers helped the U.S. economy create 850,000 jobs in June 2021.
Strong hires in these industries also point to a booming recovery for employers, who were hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, as Americans rush to return to indoor dining and shopping.
CNBC examined the net changes by industry for June jobs based on data from the government’s employment report.
The leisure and hospitality sector again emerged as the top spot on the Department of Labor’s monthly job report, with 343,000 new jobs in June as restaurants hired droves of chefs, bartenders and service staff. The number represents the second best print in the industry in 2021.
As the industry that saw the largest layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic, the leisure and hospitality industry has seen a strong recovery since spring 2020. While the industry lost roughly half of its total workforce between March and April 2020, the June job report shows that it has now made up about 73% of those losses.
Leisure and hospitality with 14.7 million employees are around 13% below the number of employees before the pandemic. More than 190,000 people were employed in bars and restaurants alone in June.
“There have been notable increases in employment in the leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail and other services sectors,” said a press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“In June, leisure and hospitality employment rose 343,000 as pandemic restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country,” the office added. “Over half of the job gain [in that sector] was in food services and drinking places. “
Bartender Andy Bechtol makes take-away cocktails at the Caffe Dante bar and restaurant in Manhattan as the coronavirus outbreak, COVID19, continued unabated in New York City on March 19, 2020.
Victor J. Blue | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Second place in June was government employment as local school districts hired teachers, bus drivers and other public education staff to prepare for student return in the fall. While the total number of employees in the public sector increased by 188,000, 155,200 of the net jobs were in local government education.
“The continued advancement for the leisure and hospitality industry is excellent news. Continuous wage increases for these industries hit so hard by the pandemic are a sign that more workers can get back to work quickly, ”wrote Nick Bunker, an economist at job search website Indeed.
Retail had a strong month in June as consumers returned to shopping at clothing stores, malls and other previously closed stores. The net increase of 67,100 jobs represents the industry’s best since October, when the industry added 106,500 jobs ahead of the holiday season.
During the month, apparel and apparel accessory stores added 28,000 positions, general merchandise stores climbed 25,000, and auto dealerships gained 8,000.
“There is still some damage to be repaired,” added Bunker. “But today’s report suggests we will rebuild sooner rather than later.”
– CNBC’s Crystal Mercedes contributed to the coverage.
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