US Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.9 Percent for the Month of September

When the pandemic struck the US, millions of people lost their jobs as businesses struggled amid lockdowns. But in September, the country saw a reduction in the unemployment rate. In the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 661,000 more jobs pushed the rate down to 7.9 percent. Still, the figure remains lower than analyst expectations, with millions still jobless.

Last Pre-Elections Labor Report

The Labor department released a report on Friday that showed the current administration had the worst unemployment rate before any presidential elections. The next job figure data for October will not come until after November 4.

Particularly, the 0.5 percentage point drop in September pushed the figure of unemployment to 12.6 million people. Meanwhile, temporary layoffs also declined by 1.5 million, with a resulting 4.6 million in September. 

Slowing Job Growth

According to the New York Times, September marks the third month in a row of stalling the recovery in jobs. Moreover, the publication reported that the loss of workers in the government and the public sector contributed to slow job growth. In particular, with schools remaining closed, jobs declined by over 200,000. Meanwhile, the hospitality and leisure sector recorded the most number of additional jobs in September. The retail trade industry and health care and social assistance sector came next to boosting the labor force.

The U.S. job market’s rebound slowed in September: 661,000 jobs were added, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.9%.

Posted by The New York Times on Friday, October 2, 2020

However, the latest report showed that the labor market displaced significantly more women, with a figure of 617,000. Meanwhile, for comparison, 78,000 men exited the labor force last year.

Temporary or Permanent Job Loss?

Going into the coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment rate in the country stood at 3.5 percent last February. But in a matter of weeks, the American economy dropped, and over 20 million people were out of work. The latest data shows that the US, amid an improvement, still struggles with the impact of the COVID-19.

Despite the addition of millions of jobs monthly, the US employment remains 10.7 million lower than the pre-pandemic month, February. Also, those who lost their jobs in March were mostly temporary or furloughs. In September, as many as 3.8 million people said they permanently lost their jobs.

While the unemployment rate dropped from the preceding months, it does not mean it includes all those 700,000 people displaced from the labor force when they stopped looking for jobs. Moreover, furloughed respondents said they still have their jobs, even though they might not be asked to return. The bureau said adjusting the responses of those who misclassified, likely, the unemployment rate could be higher by 0.4 percentage points.

Carol Mowatt

Carol is a science graduate and professional with a strong experience in content management of Science related articles. Her strength includes the sound knowledge of science as well as astronomy.
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