For the fourth month in a row, the U.S. economy experienced a growth in jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate. In August, the Department of Labor reported job gains of 1.37 million with an unemployment rate of 8.4%. Although fewer payrolls than reported in previous months, August’s job gains are a strong indication that the country is making a steady recovery from the pandemic.
August 2020 Jobs Report Overview
The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month, a common occurrence throughout the last few months. Surveyed economists from the Dow Jones anticipated growth of only 1.32 million and an unemployment rate of 9.8%. In contrast, the Labor Department announced last week a slightly better than expected 1.37 million jobs and a jobless rate of 8.4% (from 10.2% last month). However, that’s a sharp decline from June’s 4.8 million jobs added and July’s 1.8 million.
Nonetheless, August was the lowest unemployment rate since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which peaked at nearly 15%. The number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million to a total of 13.6 million. Although still notably high, the unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing for four consecutive months. Additionally, temporary layoffs declined by 3.1 million last month to a total of 6.2 million. That is a sharp reduction from April’s 18.1 million layoffs. As you can see, more Americans are finally returning to work as employers are able to bring back some of their staff.
Where are the jobs at?
The industries with the largest employment growth are government (+344,00), retail trade (+249,000), professional and business services (+197,000), leisure and hospitality (+174,000), education and health services (+147,000), transportation and warehousing (+78,000), financial activities (+36,000), manufacturing (+29,000), and wholesale trade (+14,000). Employment in mining, construction, and information changed little over the month.
Revisions from the previous jobs reports
Over the last two months, total nonfarm payroll employment gains were revised. In June, payroll employment declined by 10,000, from +4,791,000 to +4,781,000. In July, payroll gains were also revised down by 29,000, from +1,763,000 to +1,734,000. With revisions over the last two months combined, employment was 39,000 less than previously reported.
Are you ready to restart your hiring efforts?
As the healing process continues, more hiring managers and employers are gaining confidence in restarting their efforts. If you are actively searching for new talent or preparing to activate your hiring strategy, reach out to a recruiter from JSG. We are here to help you navigate this challenging labor market with ease. And if you are a job seeker, we are ready to help you find your next opportunity today. Let’s work together to find you your next role.