August Jobs Report Indicates Smallest Employment Gain in Seven Months

09/13/2021

This summer’s steady progression for the U.S. labor market took a hard fall in August 2021, according to the latest jobs report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite an expected 720,000 jobs to be added, in reality, U.S. employers created only 235,000 jobs.

Part of the disheartening growth can be attributed to the increased spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, which has also bruised industries that rely heavily on in-person interaction or social gatherings, such as leisure, hospitality, restaurants and retail. None of which reported job increases last month.

On the bright side, several industries saw improved numbers last month. Professional and business services, manufacturing, and transportation all added jobs, as those sectors of the economy are less impacted by the pandemic.

Federal unemployment benefits expired over the past Labor Day weekend, which adds to a sense of urgency for those who are unemployed to seek jobs. August’s bleak jobs report may lead to a delay in the Federal Reserve’s phasing out of pandemic-related stimulus programs, especially as economists predict the next few months of 2021 will follow a similar weak trend.

Despite August’s harsh reality for the U.S. economy, the country has added some 17 million jobs since the country’s historic low in April 2020. While there are 5.6 million fewer workers with jobs in the U.S. now than before the pandemic hit, the country’s rebound is still occurring at a steady upward pace.

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