September 2021 Jobs Report: Job Openings at All-Time High as Economy Faces Slight Setback

10/12/2021

The United States employment rate is slowly, but steadily returning to pre-pandemic levels from February 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September report, the civilian labor force is still about 3.1 million people lower than early 2020, but September marked the ninth consecutive month of net payroll gains in the U.S. economy.

The September unemployment rate steadied at 4.8%, three points more than expected and a promising improvement from last month’s rate of 5.2%. Experts warn that the lower rate might not capture the mass of people who left the workforce entirely last month – unemployment rates only include the share of people who have job searched in the past four weeks or are furloughed – signaling that public health concerns may still be stopping people from looking for jobs.

Job openings are at a record high, providing a plethora of opportunities for people to switch jobs or careers. In more good news for job seekers, average hourly earnings increase faster in September, continuing the trend of increased wages and incentives for employees to help meet increased demand for workers.

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