The US added just 235,000 jobs last month instead of the anticipated 728,000 jobs. COVID is said to be responsible.
July’s numbers were an impressive 943,000, but that included a lot of temporary summer jobs and mostly — overwhelmingly — Federal government jobs (over 330,000 that do not produce growth).
The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in August from 5.4 percent in the month prior, according to Friday’s highly anticipated jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s far higher than the 50-year low of 3.5 percent reported in February of last year, before the pandemic.
By sector, leisure, and hospitality, the part of the economy hit hardest by the pandemic and subsequent government restrictions, was unchanged “after increasing by an average of 350,000 per month over the prior 6 months,” the feds said.
Other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, and health care, also saw little change in the number of jobs.
Retailers lost 29,000 workers with the biggest declines occurring in food and beverage stores (-23,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (-13,000). Retailers have lost 285,000 laborers since February 2020.
Those are the jobs that indicate solid growth, along with manufacturing which is on the decline.
Manufacturing has been muted, held back by supply chain disruptions and shortages of critical parts like semiconductors for automakers (and policies and regulations?).
Still, The NY Times is optimistic about the expansion of the economy, but we disagree. Hopefully, they’re right.
About 8.4 million Americans remain unemployed, the feds added, far higher than the 5.7 million unemployed in February 2020.
They are still getting paid bonus unemployment benefits to stay home. Democrats want to extend that.