5 Sector ETFs to Play Robust June Jobs Data

The U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June 2021 (after rising 559,000 in May), beating market expectations of a rise of 700,000 thanks to easing business restrictions amid reopening of economies, falling coronavirus infection rates and vaccine distribution from multiple makers.

The jobs market represented the strongest employment growth in 10 months. Still, nonfarm payroll employment is down by 4.4% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. Average hourly earnings increased 0.3%, below the forecast of 0.4%. The unemployment rate rose to 5.9% versus the 5.6% estimate.

Below, we have highlighted some of the sectors that will likely see smooth trading in the days ahead in light of the June jobs data.


Last month, leisure and hospitality employment grew by 343,000, thanks mainly to the increasing reopening of the economy. Gains mainly occurred in food services and drinking places (+194,000). Job gains were also logged in accommodation (+75,000) and in amusements, gambling, and recreation (+74,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is still down by 12.9% from February 2020.

The data makes Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF PEJ a timely investment. The fund has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook. 


Last month, retail employment grew by 67,000, but employment is down by 1.9%, since February 2020. Job growth in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+28,000), general merchandise stores (+25,000), miscellaneous store retailers (+13,000), and automobile dealers (+8,000) was partially offset by job losses in food and beverage stores (-13,000) and health and personal care stores (-7,000).

The data makes SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT a timely investment. The fund has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook.


Employment in mining rose by 10,000 in June, reflecting an uptick in support activities for mining. Mining employment is now down by 110,000 since the peak in January 2019. SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF XME can thus be considered for a play.


Employment in manufacturing (+15,000) was moderate in June. Within the industry, job gains in furniture and related products (+9,000), fabricated metal products (+6,000), and primary metals (+3,000) were notable. Employment in manufacturing is down by 481,000 from its level in February 2020. Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF XLI has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). 


Employment in transportation and warehousing was decent in June (+11,000). Employment gains in warehousing and storage (+14,000), air transportation (+8,000), and truck transportation (+6,000) were noteworthy. Since February 2020, employment in transportation and warehousing is down by 94,000. SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN) has a Zacks Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: ETFs in Focus Post FedEx’s Robust Q4 Earnings).

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Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI): ETF Research Reports

SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT): ETF Research Reports

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME): ETF Research Reports

Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (PEJ): ETF Research Reports

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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