Some interesting numbers and trends in August…
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.
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.
Also in August, 24.3 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 26.4 percent in July. These data refer to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the last 4 weeks specifically because of the coronavirus pandemic. Roughly a quarter of the United States is still working from home.
In August, 24.2 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic—that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 31.3 million in July. Among those who reported in August that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 11.6 percent received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked.
About 5.2 million persons not in the labor force in August were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic. This is down from 6.5 million in July. (To be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must either be actively looking for work or on temporary layoff.)
More August numbers:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million.
Employment in government increased by 344,000.
Retail added 249,000 jobs.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 197,000.
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 174,000.
Employment in education and health services increased by 147,000.
Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 78,000 in August.
The other services industry added 74,000 jobs.
Financial added 36,000 jobs in August.
Manufacturing employment rose by 29,000 jobs
Employment in wholesale trade increased by 14,000 jobs.
In August, employment changed little in mining, construction.
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