Weak Jobs Report Shows Ongoing Delta Fears, But There’s Finally Hope For Business Professionals
August’s jobs report disappointed with the number of total new jobs added to the economy in August only reaching 235,000 despite the Dow Jones expectation of 720,000 new hires. However, the unemployment rate declined by .2 percentage points to reach 5.2% according to the newest release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS highlights that, so far this year, monthly job growth has averaged 586,000. Even so, August’s jobs report was the worst since January, accompanied with rising coronavirus cases and fears that the Delta variant could stunt full economic recovery.
“Today’s jobs report reflects a major pullback in employment growth likely due to the rising impact of the Delta variant of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy, though August is also a notoriously difficult month to survey accurately due to vacations,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens to CNBC.
August’s gains were mostly in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, manufacturing and other services. Notably, employment in retail trade declined over the month accompanying a new report from Civic Science that shows consumer confidence has also declined.
Leisure and hospitality, a sector that has been largely driving contributions to job creation in recent months, stalled in August as the unemployment rate for the industry only increased slightly to 9.1%.
There is some good news. Professional and business services actually lead new jobs gains with 74,000 new positions. The figure is a welcome sign for an industry that struggled to add new jobs during the pandemic. Business services is one of the more difficult areas to rebound during any economic downturn, as it is one of the sectors in which people first lost their jobs and is typically one of the last to add new numbers.
August also saw an increase of about 400,000 in those who said they could not work for pandemic-related reasons, bringing the total to 5.6 million, highlighting that jobs data might remain stunted until pandemic fears fully abate.
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