The employment report is back, and the figures do not seem promising. After a good jump in July, numbers for August and September seem crawling. September added just 194,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, down from 366,000 in August, clearly indicating a troubled and slow economy post-pandemic.


However, all is not gloomy yet. The decline in the unemployment rate brings along some hope as the numbers fell from 5.2% in August to 4.8% in September. Experts are surprised by this slow change, especially after the substantial gains of July. Rising wages have been a major source of concern for the employers struggling to fill their vacant roles due to labor shortages.

“Employment is slowing when it should be picking up because we’re still on the course set by the virus,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton.

Despite CoVID cases hitting a plateau in the last month, the ripple effect on the market seems slow.

Sept-report unemployment

Industry Wise Breakup

As per the employment report, the U.S. economy experienced maximum job gains in the leisure and hospitality sector with 74,000 new positions and a plunging unemployment rate reaching 7.7% from 9.1%.  September numbers underperformed compared to the monthly average of 197,000 this year.

Professional and business services contributed 60,000 while retail increased by 56,000.

Job gains were spread across a variety of other sectors: Transportation and warehousing (47,000), information (32,000), social assistance (30,000), manufacturing (26,000), construction (22,000), and wholesale trade (17,000).

40,000+ job losses occurred in nursing and residential care facilities and hospitals, while ambulatory health care services added 28,000 new jobs. Employment in health care has been down by 524,000 since February 2020.

Great Resignation Continues to Impact U.S

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey – JOLTS – from the U.S. Labor Department showed that the number of Americans quitting their jobs jumped to 4.3 million in August. That is 2.9 percent of all employed workers in the U.S., marking the highest quits rate on record.

High quit rates signify that workers no more fear the risk of losing jobs; in fact, they are more confident than before. Some 892,000 workers in the customer-facing accommodation and food services sectors quit their jobs amid an August surge in COVID cases.

Businesses have started offering incentives like wage rise, incentive bonuses, and medical benefits to entice workers. Forty-two percent of small business owners said they raised compensation last month.

Vaccination Status

More and more people are now returning to the workplace after months of remote work. And the role of the vaccine in attaining this normalcy has a considerable role to play. Increasing number of companies are now asking employees to show their vaccination status to return.

In a significantly stricter tone, Biden outlined a plan to boost Covid vaccination rates nationwide, pressuring private employers to immunize their workforce as well as mandating the shots for federal employees, contractors, and healthcare workers.

To date, three vaccines are authorized for use in the U.S., including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen. As per the latest report, 402 million doses have been administered so far in the U.S. Last week, an average of 1.08 million doses per day.


Summing It Up

With rising vaccination, increased resignation, and a slow generation of jobs, the U.S. economy receives mixed signals. Where July numbers gave some hope, August and September completely turned the tide.

Related Article: Employment Touches a New High in July

The only good news comes with the decreasing unemployment rate, but it does not relieve employers as they still struggle to fill vacant positions.

At the same time, there are reasons to be hopeful. Surveys for this employment report were completed around September when CoVID infection began to plateau. Since then, numbers have been steadily declining, and one can remain hopeful for job growth in October.

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