Five key points from the September jobs report


Washington – September has not always been a solid month for hiring that many have been waiting for and waiting for.

Delta variants continue to disrupt the economy and employers are struggling to find enough workers, so this month’s profits hit 194,000, less than half of what economists expected. In August, the economy created a modest 366,000 jobs. In summary, employment over the past two months has fallen by 962,000 jobs added in June and 1.1 million jobs in July.

The labor market has weathered volatile fluctuations since COVID-19 hit the United States in March 2020. Since then, employers have created 17 million jobs, at least Delta, as huge injections of aid federal government have put money in people’s pockets and vaccine deployments have given more confidence to return to stores, restaurants and bars. Before the variant breaks out.


Last month, the private sector created 317,000 jobs, up from 332,000 in August to an average of 553,000 from January to July. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes the hotels, restaurants and bars most affected by the pandemic, has created 74,000 jobs. That number fell from 38,000 in August, but well below the January-July average of 296,000 per month.

Not all of the job news on Friday was bad. The Labor Ministry revised its employment forecast for July and August to a total of 169,000 jobs. And the unemployment rate fell from 5.2% in August to 4.8% in September.

Typically 194,000 jobs are considered a decent monthly profit. However, Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank, said: Even more disappointing results in October suggest that this is a drastically different job market than we thought a few months ago. “


Here are five points from the September jobs report:

Delta carries tolls

From January to July of this year, employers added a fierce average of over 640,000 jobs per month. Then a delta shot. COVID-19 cases have started to rise again, weakening the economic recovery. Job growth slowed in August and September. However, the number of confirmed COVID cases has declined since mid-September, and the labor market recovery may be poised to regain momentum.

“It’s a pretty deflationary report,” said Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab. The number of COVID-19 cases is on the decline, so it is interpreted that the coming months should be stronger, but in reality it is still a pandemic. “

Behind the drop in the unemployment rate

The unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, the lowest level since March 2020. However, the reason for the drop is a mix of good and bad.


Pros: Last month the number of people who reported being hired increased by 526,000. And the number of people who reported being unemployed fell by 710,000.

Not so good: One of the reasons for declining unemployment is that 183,000 people stopped looking for work last month and are no longer unemployed. The percentage of Americans who have or are looking for a job, the so-called labor force participation rate, fell to 61.6% in September. Before the pandemic, the participation rate exceeded 63%.

Economists aren’t sure exactly why so many Americans have chosen to stay on the margins of the job market, despite the surge in demand for workers. Some people may have a prolonged fear of getting infected when dealing with public work.

Some people find it difficult to organize childcare when school hours are very uncertain. After spending time with their families during a pandemic, some take the time to choose early retirement or rethink their careers.


ask for help

Recruitment slows down as companies are unable to find the required number of workers.

Wells Fargo economists Sarah Haus and Michael Puriese said in their research notes that “securing a workforce remains the number one hiring challenge.”

In July, employers posted a record 10.9 million jobs and struggled to fill them.

Businesses have eased their labor shortages and the unemployed are more enthusiastic about their jobs after the federal government ended last month’s enhanced assistance to the unemployed, including an additional $ 300 per week in more of the interests of the state. I wanted to shoot. However, the end of federal aid seems to have been less effective so far.

Likewise, supply shortages, mainly caused by the unexpected speed of the economic recovery from last year’s coronavirus recession, have kept companies from doing business with sufficient strength.

School press

Overall employment in September was reduced due to the loss of 144,000 jobs at local public schools. However, this decline reflects how the Ministry of Labor adjusts the numbers to account for seasonal fluctuations.


Bottom line: Schools were actually hiring, suggesting less than the seasonal pattern, likely due to previous COVID-related closures or a lack of available teachers.

Oxford Economics economists Lydia Busser and Gregory Dako said in a study note: “As we feared, many schools have reverted to face-to-face learning, but have been hired more than habit. The number of teachers was low. “This corroborates the anecdotal evidence that schools are struggling to find qualified teachers amid protracted viral fears and early retirement. ”

Improve outlook for all breeds

White, black and Hispanic workers all profited from the job market in the past month.

For whites, the rank of employer increased by 326,000. The number of unemployed fell by 436,000. And the unemployment rate fell from 4.5% to 4.2%.

For African Americans, the number of working people increased by 104,000. The number of unemployed decreased by 187,000. And the unemployment rate fell from 8.8% to 7.9%. As a percentage, the employment of African Americans grew twice as fast in September as that of whites (0.6% vs. 0.3%).


For Hispanics, the improvement has been more modest. The number of employees increased by 86,000. The number of unemployed fell by 2,000. And the unemployment rate fell from 6.4% to 6.3%.


APEconomics writer Christopher Rugaber contributed to this report.

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