Thus far, warnings of collapse in the jobs market due to the end of government supports have failed to come true. In August, the US economy added 1.4 million jobs and the unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 8.4%. The numbers of unemployed people in the short- and mid-term dropped substantially, while furloughs decreased massively. The latter might not be an entirely positive signal, however:WaPoo does it's level best to downplay the improvement because Orange Man bad.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In August, an increase in government employment largely reflected temporary hiring for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, in professional and business services, in leisure and hospitality, and in education and health services. …The profile of jobs changed significantly with the end of furloughing for millions of Americans, but permanent job losses jumped by slightly over a half-million:
In August, the unemployment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points to 8.4 percent, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million. Both measures have declined for 4 consecutive months but are higher than in February, by 4.9 percentage points and 7.8 million, respectively.
Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 3.1 million in August to 6.2 million, down considerably from the series high of 18.1 million in April. In August, the number of permanent job losers increased by 534,000 to 3.4 million; this measure has risen by 2.1 million since February. The number of unemployed reentrants to the labor force declined by 263,000 to 2.1 million. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.) (See table A-11.)Part-time work for economic reasons declined by nearly a million people. That indicates a still-growing demand to move employees back to full-time work. And this seems particularly encouraging:
The number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks decreased by 921,000 to 2.3 million in August, and the number of persons jobless 5 to 14 weeks fell by 2.0 million to 3.1 million. The long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) numbered 1.6 million, little changed over the month. (See table A-12.)
The labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point to 61.7 percent in August but is 1.7 percentage points below its February level. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, rose by 3.8 million in August to 147.3 million. The employment-population ratio rose by 1.4 percentage points to 56.5 percent but is 4.6 percentage points lower than in February. (See table A-1.)Interestingly, the data on wages shows growth there as well — a bit of a surprise, given the huge overhang of sidelined labor still in the market. Overall wages rose 11 cents an hour, and private-sector non-supervisory wages rose 18 cents an hour. The overall increase is an annualized 4.4% pace of growth.
In August, the number of persons who usually work full time rose by 2.8 million to 122.4 million, and the number who usually work part time increased by 991,000 to 25.0 million. Part-time workers accounted for about one-fourth of the over-the-month employment gain.
Yet just over half of the 22 million total jobs lost between February and April have not returned, and prominent economists are warning about the potential for a downturn in the coming months, as more states battle coronavirus outbreaks and financial hardship increases for businesses and families under pressure.
Still, at the tail end of a summer marked by a grueling pandemic, repeated economic shutdowns and a rancorous presidential race increasingly driven by concerns about violence, the news was hailed as hopeful, however modestly.
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