the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Washington DC, Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor
market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In August, an increase in government
employment largely reflected temporary hiring for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, in professional and business services, in leisure and hospitality, and
in education and health services.
In August, the unemployment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points to 8.4 percent, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million. Both measures have declined for 4
consecutive months but are higher than in February, by 4.9 percentage points and 7.8 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined in August for adult men (8.0 percent), adult women (8.4 percent), teenagers (16.1 percent), Whites (7.3 percent), Blacks (13.0
percent), and Hispanics (10.5 percent). The jobless rate for Asians (10.7 percent) changed little over the month.
Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 3.1 million in August to 6.2 million, down considerably from the series high of 18.1 million in April. In August,
the number of permanent job losers increased by 534,000 to 3.4 million; this measure has risen by 2.1 million since February. The number of unemployed reentrants to the labor force declined by
263,000 to 2.1 million.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, following increases of larger magnitude in the prior 3 months. In August, nonfarm employment was below its February level by
11.5 million, or 7.6 percent. Government employment rose in August, largely reflecting temporary hiring for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, in professional and
business services, in leisure and hospitality, and in education and health services.