U.S. Employers Added Only 194,000 Jobs in September
Americans avoided meals and travel as a consequence of the current coronavirus epidemic, which contributed to a second consecutive month of weak job growth in September. They were also reluctant to return to work.
According to the Labor Department, businesses in the United States added 194,000 positions in September.
In comparison, the number of new employment created in August was 366,000, which was far below the more than one million positions gained in July, when the more infectious Delta variety caused a surge in coronavirus infections across most of the nation.
A total of less than 100,000 jobs were added to the economy for the second consecutive month in the leisure and hospitality industry, which had been a major engine of employment creation prior to Delta's entry.
Unemployment dropped to 4.8 percent, but it was partially due to individuals dropping out of the labor market altogether, which indicates that public health concerns and other disruptions caused by Covid are still preventing people from seeking work.
The economy is beginning to show indications of recovery from the effects of the delta form of the coronavirus, with verified new COVID-19 infections decreasing, restaurant traffic increasing somewhat, and customers more eager to spend money than they were before.
However, the number of new illnesses remained high as September got underway.
Employers are still having difficulty finding employees since many individuals who lost their employment as a result of the epidemic have not yet begun searching for new positions.
Supply chain bottlenecks have also become worse, causing manufacturers to slow down, homebuilders to be restrained, and some shop shelves to be emptied.
It was revealed on Friday that the percentage of Americans who are either employed or searching for work, often known as labor participation, fell from 61.7 percent in September to 61.6 percent in October, a significant drop from the 63.3 percent recorded before the outbreak of the epidemic.
Many economists had anticipated that the reopening of schools, the expiry of federal unemployment benefits, and the increased speed with which vaccines were administered would encourage more people to look for work.
That didn't happen last month, unfortunately.
The decrease in labor participation last month was entirely due to women, indicating that many working moms are still responsible for their children at home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Men's labor force participation remained constant.
In spite of the fact that schools reopened in September, certain after-school programs were still lacking in terms of providing all-day care.
In addition, child care has grown more difficult to come by and more expensive in many instances.
In addition, COVID outbreaks have resulted in certain temporary school closures, which makes it difficult for working moms to maintain their employment.
COVID-19 outbreaks in late September forced 2,000 schools in 39 states to shut for an average of six days, according to Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, who said in a recent address.
Many economists continue to believe that the vast majority of the approximately 3 million individuals who have lost their jobs and ceased searching for employment since the epidemic began will restart their searches once COVID fades from the scene.
After the 2008-2009 crisis, the percentage of individuals working or seeking employment did not recover to pre-recession levels for many years, according to the authors of the study.
Individuals who are not actively searching for work are not considered jobless by the federal government.
Another element contributing to the hiring sluggishness was a significant reduction in local government education positions.
Despite the reopening of schools, the number of such positions dropped by 144,000 in the previous month.
This decrease indicates that many local school systems did not employ as many personnel as they would have normally done in the same period.
Many schools have reported difficulty in recruiting adequate bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other support personnel.
In most sectors outside of education, employment growth in September was on par with or greater than it had been in August in most cases.
For example, the transportation and warehousing industry, which has been bolstered by an increase in online shopping, has created 47,000 employment.
Manufacturers contributed 26,000 to the total.
Restaurants, hotels, and amusement parks, on the other hand, added just 74,000 jobs, which was an increase over August but a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of positions added each month over the summer months when the economy was booming.
Several enhanced unemployment benefits programs came to an end in early September, including a $300-per-week government supplement as well as programs that, for the first time, included gig workers and individuals who had been out of work for six months or longer than the standard period of time.
According to current data, the termination of such programs seems to have had only a little impact on the number of individuals looking for employment.
Another factor contributing to the scarcity of employees is an increase in retirements among older, more wealthy workers whose home equity and stock portfolios have increased significantly since the epidemic hit and who have managed to accumulate savings.
According to Goldman Sachs, about 1.5 million individuals have retired who would not have done so had the epidemic not thrown the economy into disarray.
Economists predict that many of these individuals will continue to live in retirement.
In the meanwhile, some would-be job applicants are deterred from applying because of their dread of the COVID, particularly those who have previously worked in customer service positions in restaurants, bars, hotels, and shops.