The September 2021 Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the US employment situation, and job numbers for September fell short of expectations. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the U.S. economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.
The September jobs report shows improvement in unemployment numbers, but a lackluster number of jobs added. The unemployment rate declined .4 percentage points to 4.8%, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 194,000. While the 4.8% unemployment rate is a positive sign for the labor market, the 194,000 jobs added did not meet economists’ expectations of 500,000. The number of unemployed decreased by 710,000 to 7.7 million, down from 8.4 million in August, but still up from 5.8 million before the pandemic in February 2020.
Here are some other key statistics from the BLS jobs report:
- The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 496,000 in September to 2.7 million but is 1.6 million higher than in February 2020.
- The number of reentrants to the labor force decreased by 198,000 in September to 2.3 million, after increasing by a similar amount in August.
- Employment in public education usually picks up in September, but that was not the case this year. Staffing fluctuations in public and private education have distorted the normal seasonal hiring and layoff patterns.
September brought job gains for sectors including leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. Here’s how industries were impacted in September:
Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests that the economy’s improvement has continued since August, but remains slow. There is still much ground to recover before we’re back to pre-pandemic levels.
October 08, 2021