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“Ultimately, the Delta variant wave is a harsh reminder that the pandemic is still in the driver’s seat, and it controls our economic future.”

Senior economist Daniel Zhao for jobs website Glassdoor on the lower-than-expected job growth in August.

Published on

sep 7, 2021

jobs
  • The August jobs report showed 235,000 jobs created last month; more than 700,000 were expected.
  • Jobs reports are often read as "good" or "bad" depending on whether the data meets the expectations of economists.
  • Why? The hospitality industry, a main driver of job growth (positions returning) from last year's shutdown, stalled. "In August, employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after increasing by an average of 350,000 per month over the prior 6 months."
  • The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% (from 5.4%).
  • Some notable positive signs: hourly wages continue to rise and previous jobs reports that showed high job growth were revised even higher (revisions happen as the government gets more accurate information) - so in July job growth was actually more than a million jobs, rather than 943,000 jobs added.
  • Important Context: America is still short about 3 million jobs compared to February 2020.

Why It Matters: The August jobs report shows the lowest monthly job growth since January, and underscores that the economic recovery continues. Many economists look at this report as a reason for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates (borrowing costs) low, despite some hints of raising them.

Here's a look at the report itself and a good read from CNBC.

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