- Payroll in the waste management and remediation services category rose to approximately 477,300 people in July, up from 474,800 in June, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
- BLS reported the overall U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, a return to February 2020 pre-pandemic levels. The number of waste management and remediation services jobs as defined by BLS reportedly increased 4.79% year over year and inched up 0.53% month over month. The category includes waste collection, MRF and landfill workers, but it isn’t an exact picture of the waste and recycling industry, as it also includes remediation services occupations.
- The 528,000 jobs the U.S. added during July were more than double expectations, according to analysts, with some saying that such a report quells some recession worries.
Major waste and recycling companies seemed to spend less time discussing hiring challenges during earnings calls in the past two weeks than they did in reports in some past quarters. Comments about the broader economy were more focused on how pricing is currently making up for inflation, including heightened labor costs. Multiple companies also said they’re well-positioned to be resilient during a recession.
After raising compensation over the past 18 months to recruit and retain workers, some executives now say they believe wage inflation may have peaked. BLS reported that average hourly earnings have increased 5.2% over the past 12 months. It estimated the number of people not in the labor force who want a job was 5.9 million in July, up from 5.7 million in June.
The waste management and remediation services category consists of waste collection, waste treatment and disposal (which includes landfills and incinerators) and remediation and other waste management services (which includes MRF workers). The most represented occupation is refuse and recyclable material collectors, followed by truck drivers and hazardous materials removal workers.
August employment figures are set to be released Sept. 2.