The August 2021 Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the US employment situation and the data for August has improved marginally since July. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.


The August jobs report shows a slight improvement in the labor market. The unemployment rate declined .2 percentage points to 5.2%, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000. The number of unemployed decreased to 8.4 million, down from 8.7 million in July but still up from 5.8 million in February 2020.


Here are some other key statistics from the labor department jobs report:

  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 246,000 in August to 3.2 million but is 2.1 million higher than in February 2020.
  • The number of reentrants to the labor force increased by 200,000 in August to 2.5 million.
  • Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers declined by 443,000 to 2.5 million in August.


August brought job gains for sectors including professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, and manufacturing. Here’s how industries were impacted in August:


Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests that the economy is improving, but the rate of improvement has slowed. There is still much ground to recover before we’re back to pre-pandemic levels.

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By Doug Atkinson | September 03, 2021