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Education sector will boost July jobs gain to 900,000: JPMorgan

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According to a JPMorgan Research (JPM) report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is forecasted to report a nonfarm employment increase of 900,000 jobs for July, with the education sector being a key driving force behind the increase in the seasonally adjusted jobs count. The BLS’s Employment Situation report for July is scheduled to release Friday, Aug. 6.

“We expect education-related employment to provide a significant boost to the seasonally-adjusted jobs count for July as end-of-school-year layoffs are not as severe as anticipated by the BLS’s seasonal factors due to there being less in-person schooling than normal,” the report reads.

After seasonal adjustment, the report projects that education-related employment accounted for an increase of 375,000 in July.

“Before seasonal adjustment, school openings and closings create seasonal patterns in education-related hiring and firing,” the report added. “Layoffs usually take place between May and July as schools finish their academic years, and July tends to be the month with the largest drop in employment.”

Education-related employment, which includes jobs such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, is still “down substantially relative to pre-virus norms,” the report stated. Many of these job opportunities disappeared as schools transitioned to remote learning, but may return as schools around the country prepare for in-person reopenings. Overall, JPMorgan Research’s report noted that swings in education employment have been “more modest” than previously anticipated seasonal trends would have suggested.

Robeson Township, PA - August 5: School Bus Driver Jennifer Simcox on a bus with the pump spray bottle of disinfectant each bus driver will have to disinfect their busses. At Eshelman Transportation in Robeson Township Wednesday afternoon August 5, 2020 where they are preparing their bus drivers for the start of the school year and new precautions during the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.  (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)
Robeson Township, PA - August 5: School Bus Driver Jennifer Simcox on a bus with the pump spray bottle of disinfectant each bus driver will have to disinfect their busses. At Eshelman Transportation in Robeson Township Wednesday afternoon August 5, 2020 where they are preparing their bus drivers for the start of the school year and new precautions during the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

June reflected a similar story, as seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment rose by 850,000, with education contributing 268,000 jobs across the public and private sectors to that gain. Before seasonal adjustment, education employment fell by over 600,000 in June, a smaller drop than normal for the month which led to the rise in seasonally adjusted data.

“For July, the normal seasonal factors expect a loss of roughly 1.3 million jobs in the education sector,” the report reads. “We think it is likely that we will see nearly a million jobs lost in the sector, but probably not the full 1.3 million we would expect in normal times.”

According to the report, other sectors have generally been able to recover more fully and consistently relative to education. And though other sectors may also experience seasonal swings in employment, none have been as predictable under pandemic conditions as education, in part due to the sector’s “more rigid calendar.”

JPMorgan Research does not expect a large seasonal boost in any sector other than education for the month of July, with the Delta variant of COVID-19 continuing to pose a threat to the U.S. labor revival as students prepare to return to classrooms.

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