The numbers: Companies hired fewer people in July during a fresh wave of coronavirus cases even as they listed more open jobs, reflecting a high level of uncertainty about how rapidly the labor market and broader economy are improving.
Businesses, governments and other organizations hired 5.8 million people in July, according to a Labor Department survey of the labor market that’s released with a one-month delay. But that marks a sizable decline from almost 7 million in June.
Job openings, on the other hand, rose by 617,000 to 6.6 million in July. The number of jobs available was running around 7 million a month before the pandemic.
The number of separations — layoffs, firings, people quitting — barely changed in July at 5 million.
At the peak of