U.S. Unemployment Rate Fell to 8.4% in August as Hiring Continued

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  3 weeks ago  •  46 comments

By:   Sarah Chaney (WSJ)

U.S. Unemployment Rate Fell to 8.4% in August as Hiring Continued
Unemployment fell sharply in August and hiring gains moderated, as the U.S. economy continued to recover from the steep downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Unemployment fell sharply in August and hiring gains moderated, as the U.S. economy continued to recover from the steep downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Employers added 1.4 million jobs last month, helping  push down the unemployment rate to 8.4%  from 10.2% in July, Friday’s Labor Department report said. The jobless rate’s decline—it has dropped from near 15% in April at the beginning of the pandemic—put it below the peak from the 2007-2009 recession.

That puts unemployment in line with past major recessions, though it is significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. The jobless rate stood at 3.5% in February, a half-century low, just ahead of  the coronavirus crisis .


State reopenings of their economies helped boost employment this summer, but the gains have cooled in recent months. The economy is operating with about 11.5 million fewer jobs than in February.

“We’re in a very deep hole, and we’re working our way out of it,” said Gus Faucher, economist at PNC Financial Services Group. “We continue to see very good improvement in the labor market, but I think the improvement is going to be slower going forward.”


The economy continues to face uncertainty with  an average of 36,000 new Covid-19 cases a day  and an increase ahead of Labor Day weekend, prompting warnings from some governors about persistent risks from the virus.

Economists expect the initial hiring spurt from business reopenings to ease as state restrictions are lifted at a slower pace than earlier in the summer. Further, the number of unemployed individuals saying their layoffs are permanent rose last month to 3.4 million, a headwind to the pace of recovery in future months.

Still, the number of unemployed individuals saying their layoffs were temporary declined to 6.2 million in August from 9.2 million in July, indicating many employers are bringing back workers.

Retail and government hiring helped drive August’s jobs gains. Super centers and home improvement stores have seen employment increase during the pandemic, and other types of retailers, including department and furniture stores, are seeing a rebound after a deep decline. Meanwhile, Census hiring boosted federal jobs while state and local employment has held up relatively well as the school year gets under way.

Financial markets were mixed.  U.S. Treasury yields rose  after the better-than-expected jobs news, while  stocks continued a selloff  in a volatile session.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday’s report was good news but that the economy was likely to require low interest rates for years.

“I would say today’s jobs report was a good one,” Mr. Powell said in an interview with National Public Radio. “Through May and June, we got quite a few people back to work.”

The economic readings come as talks between the White House and Democrats over possible further coronavirus aid have stalled, and as Congress faces an approaching deadline to keep the government running after its current funding expires Oct. 1.

Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over the size and contents of another installment of relief, on measures such as additional jobless aid and money for states and cities, with no visible progress notched over the August break.

“I don’t know if there will be another package in the next few weeks or not,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said at a Kentucky event this week. House Democrats, who passed a $3.5 trillion package in May, have said they would be willing to settle for a $2.2 trillion bill. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week said Republicans could support legislation that cost somewhere around $1.5 trillion.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Mr. Mnuchin agreed on the need to quickly pass a short-term spending bill, according to people familiar with the discussion. In a phone call Tuesday, the two agreed to refrain from trying to add any controversial policy measures to the spending bill, in an effort to avoid a government shutdown.

Unemployment rates for Black, Hispanic and white workers fell in August, while holding steady for Asian workers, the Labor Department said. Joblessness is lowest among white Americans—7.3%—and remained above 10% for Black, Hispanic and Asian workers,  pointing to divergent economic outcomes  from the pandemic. The unemployment rate for those without a high-school diploma was 12.6%, while workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher were unemployed at a 5.3% rate.

BluePearl Pet Hospital, a network of veterinary medicine hospitals across the country, is in hiring mode, thanks to a sharp rise in demand for vet services, said Jimmy Barr, the company’s chief medical officer. He attributes the increase in vet visits, in part, to a rise in pet ownership during the pandemic.

Individuals working from home are spending more time with their pets during quarantine and have more flexibility to seek care, Mr. Barr said.

The share of Americans working or seeking work rose in August to 61.7% from 61.4% in July and a pandemic low of 60.2% in April. More individuals looking for work bodes well for job growth and the broader economic recovery.

Shelby Burnette, age 19, started searching for work this summer.

The Newport News, Va., resident was laid off from her part-time job at a clothing store this spring. She held off on immediately applying for jobs because she didn’t feel safe returning to work given that a pre-existing lung condition put her at higher risk from the effects of the virus.

Ms. Burnette said she began filling out job applications online in June because she wouldn’t be able to financially sustain herself once the extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits expired at the end of July. Job prospects were slim, though.

“When I would apply, I wouldn’t hear anything back or sometimes there wasn’t anything to apply to. It was kind of like, ‘What am I supposed to do?’” Ms. Burnette said.

About a month ago she was hired to help supervise children at a local day-care center. She said she hopes to find another job with a higher wage soon, though.

Several large companies have warned of job cuts in recent days, a sign the labor market could face uneven performance this fall.

United Airlines Holdings  Inc. said Wednesday  it plans to cut 16,370 staff  amid a pandemic-driven slump in passenger demand.  Coca-Cola  Co. said last week  it plans to lay off some employees .

Economists say new company layoffs reflect a shift in employers’ mentality from earlier in the crisis, when many expected shutdowns would be over in a matter of weeks.

“If you are laying people off now, you kind of know that this situation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” said Martha Gimbel, economist at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative. “It is highly likely that any layoffs that are happening now are intended as permanent.”

Some companies that reopened in late spring and early summer hired back a portion of their furloughed workers but aren’t seeing enough demand to bring employment back to precrisis levels.

Faust Hotel and Brewing Co. laid off all employees except for managers when it temporarily closed at the onset of the pandemic. The New Braunfels, Texas, company slowly brought back workers for its reopening at the end of spring, said McKenna Lewis, the hotel’s guest-services coordinator.

Faust is still operating with less staffing than before the economic crisis hit earlier this year, and Ms. Lewis doesn’t expect it to ramp up hiring. Hotel reservations were hurt by a decline in tourist traffic this summer. Business likely won’t pick up soon, especially now that Wurstfest is canceled, Ms. Lewis said, noting the German-sausage and drinking festival boosted New Braunfels’s fall tourism in pre-pandemic times.

“Ultimately we’re just trying to remain hopeful that people want to see us survive,” she said.



Article is LOCKED by author/seeder
smarty_function_ntUser_is_admin: user_id parameter required
[]
 
Vic Eldred
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

It's down to 8.4%......Can we cut in half by next month?



Trump and his supporters are off topic

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.1  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

Can we cut in half by next month?

Not a chance.

From your own article:

" I think the improvement is going to be slower going forward"  Gus Faucher, economist at PNC Financial Services Group

"Several large companies have warned of job cuts in recent days, a sign the labor market could face uneven performance this fall.

United Airlines Holdings   Inc. said Wednesday   it plans to cut 16,370 staff   amid a pandemic-driven slump in passenger demand.   Coca-      Cola   Co. said last week   it plans to lay off some employees  ."

  

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @1.1    3 weeks ago

We can still hope. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
1.2  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago
.Can we cut in half by next month?

think that will be a state by state call, and dependent on state restrictions.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @1.2    3 weeks ago

I couldn't agree more. If you break it down by states, some have terrible unemployment numbers, while others are returning to normalcy.

 
 
 
MAGA
1.2.2  MAGA  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.1    3 weeks ago

That is the bottom line and there’s a fairly direct correlation between less restrictive red states and lower unemployment numbers and highly restrictive pro lock down blue states and very high unemployment numbers.  

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.2.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  MAGA @1.2.2    3 weeks ago

Yes sir....You were very specific....Those big blue states are the monkey wrench in the recovery.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.4  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.3    3 weeks ago

That is just ridiculous.  The "big blue states" fuel the economy and keep the red welfare states from completely going under.  Where have you been?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.2.5  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.4    3 weeks ago

You say they fuel the economy?

How much of the American economy is represented by New York, Illinois and CA?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.6  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.4    3 weeks ago

LOL.

Still pushing that fake theory?

LOL!

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.7  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.5    3 weeks ago

As of 2018, those 3 states alone comprised approximately 27%.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.8  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.6    3 weeks ago

[removed]

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.2.9  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.7    3 weeks ago
As of 2018, those 3 states alone comprised approximately 27%.

So if those 3 remain mostly shut down until Nov 3rd, we won't have a full recovery, right?

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.10  Gsquared  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.9    3 weeks ago

Why Nov 3rd?  That is an artificial construct.  The election as nothing to do with it and you know it.  

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.11  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.6    3 weeks ago

Last week you responded to my comments a couple of time with that very cute puckery kissy face.  I just asked where that was this time as part of my response to your comment and my comment got deleted for taunting.  You couldn't possibly have any problem with me asking that, right?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.12  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.11    3 weeks ago

I don't have a problem with any question you may 6. but that doesn't mean you should expect a response to all of them

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.13  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.11    3 weeks ago

I am happy you loved the kiss face!!!

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.14  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.12    3 weeks ago

I don't expect a response to all of them, but you never seem to fail to have one.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.2.15  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.5    3 weeks ago

27%. 

California alone matches Florida and Texas put together. 

CA, IL and NY also kick their but in GDP per capita. 

Next question? 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.16  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.14    3 weeks ago

so, how do you feel about that?

kind of the point here 

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.17  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.13    3 weeks ago

See...  And they thought I was taunting you.  Never.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.18  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.16    3 weeks ago

Between the swearing and the kissy face, what could possibly be better?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.19  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.17    3 weeks ago

if you have a problem with the moderation, take it to a mod.

I can't help you with that.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.20  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.18    3 weeks ago

well, as long as you're happy........

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.21  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.19    3 weeks ago

I might.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.22  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.20    3 weeks ago

Now, if only MAGA would start giving out kissy faces...

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.23  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.21    3 weeks ago

wise choice, good to see you considering taking sage advice.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.24  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.22    3 weeks ago

ask him nicely and I am confident he can oblige you.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.25  Texan1211  replied to  MAGA @1.2.2    3 weeks ago

you have a request in post 1 2.22

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.27  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.23    3 weeks ago

I was planning to do it before you mentioned it, but you can take undeserved credit if you want.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.28  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.24    3 weeks ago

No doubt.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.29  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.25    3 weeks ago

Wouldn't if be more meaningful if it came from me?   

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.30  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.27    3 weeks ago

no credit, wondering what took so long

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.31  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.29    3 weeks ago

it might, but since you chose to address the comment to me, thought I'd help out.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.32  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.30    3 weeks ago

I'm multi-tasking.  Eating a sandwich, responding to you here, reading and commenting on other articles (I just responded to one of your comments again believe it or not), looking at photos I might want to post on Creative Arts.  When I see Perrie on line again I'll probably mention it to her.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.33  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.31    3 weeks ago

We can always count on you to be so helpful... 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.34  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.32    3 weeks ago

that's good. you do that.

she can help you with your moderation problem!

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.35  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.33    3 weeks ago

yes, you can! 

you're welcome

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.36  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.34    3 weeks ago

It's not much of a problem, but I may ask her about it.

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.37  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.31    3 weeks ago

He hasn't responded to you?  He must be huddling with his coven.  

 
 
 
Gsquared
1.2.38  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.35    3 weeks ago

I remember the first time you were so helpful when you.... hmm... nothing actually comes to mind at the moment.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.2.39  Dulay  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.37    3 weeks ago
He must be huddling with his coven.

I think they call them dens...

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.2.40  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.16    3 weeks ago

They know, they aren't going to answer. People are suffering in blue states and it's all about defeating Trump.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.3  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago
Can we cut in half by next month?

can it get lower sure....  but, in half?

not while blue states are still locked down by dictator governors.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.3.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @1.3    3 weeks ago

Yup that the thing - the politics involved!

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online

Mark in Wyoming
Tacos!


62 visitors