Friday, September 4, 2020

BETTER THAN EXPECTED!

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The U.S. economy added 1.37 million jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, providing reassurance that the labor market has kept up some of its post-lockdown momentum. Economists had forecast an addition of around 1.32 million jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent from 10.2 percent last week. The economy has added around 10.5 million jobs in the past four months. The increase in the ranks of employed workers shows that companies ramped up hiring as the economy reopened and consumers came back to stores, restaurants, and other businesses that had been shuttered in March and April. Despite the gains, total employment in August was lower than its February level, highlighting just how deep the pandemic cut into what had been the strongest jobs markets in decades. More people came into the workforce and found jobs 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 straight months but are higher than in February, prior to the pandemic. The fall in unemployment was widespread among the major worker groups. The unemployment rates declined in August for adult men (8.0 percent), adult women (8.4 percent), teenagers (16.1 percent), Whites (7.3 percent), Blacks (13.0 percent), and Hispanics (10.5 percent). The jobless rate for Asians (10.7 percent) changed little over the month. The labor force participation rate moved up by 0.3 percentage points to 61.7 percent in August but is 1.7 percentage points below its February level. Total employment rose by 3.8 million in August to 147.3 million.

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