U.S. Economy Adds 1.4 Million Jobs in August

U.S. Economy Adds 1.4 Million Jobs in August

The August jobs report is in, and it shows that a V-shaped recovery in employment is in the works. From unemployment’s peak at 14.7% back in April, it has since fallen over six percentage points through August as the economic effects of the pandemic subside.

As Fox Business reported:

The U.S. economy added 1.4 million jobs in August as the unemployment rate unexpectedly tumbled, indicating the nation’s labor market is continuing a slow but steady recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labor Department’s payroll report released Friday showed the jobless rate fell sharply to 8.4%, down from 10.2% in June.

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report to show that unemployment dropped to 9.8% and the economy added 1.4 million jobs. It’s below the combined 7.5 million jobs added in May and June before hiring cooled in July, with growth of just 1.9 million positions.

The economy has now regained roughly half of jobs lost since the trough during the pandemic.

This came after we learned yesterday that weekly jobless claims totaled 881,000 last week, better than the 950,000 expected. I’ve noticed many misunderstanding what the weekly jobless claims data shows. The weekly jobs claims data is not net, in that it tells us the number of jobless claims, but not how many gained employment (as this jobs report does). Clearly more are gaining employment every week than losing it.

Chuck Schumer snarkily tweeted in response to the news that “8.4% unemployment is nothing to brag about” – and indeed it wouldn’t be if people like him hadn’t made it illegal for tens of millions of Americans to work.

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