Business & Investment

Employers add weak 194,000 jobs

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Washington — US employers added just 194,000 jobs in September. This is the second consecutive lukewarm profit, indicating that the pandemic is still in control of the economy and many companies are struggling to fill millions of unresolved jobs.

An October 8 report from the Ministry of Labor also showed that the unemployment rate plummeted from 5.2% in August to 4.8%.

The economy shows some signs emerging from the drag of the coronavirus delta variant, new confirmed COVID-19 infections have declined, restaurant traffic has increased slightly, and consumers are eager to spend. doing.

However, when September began, employers are still struggling to find workers, as new infections are still high and many people who have lost their jobs in the pandemic have not yet begun to look for them again. Supply chain bottlenecks have also worsened, factories have slowed down, homebuilders have been curtailed, and some store shelves have been emptied.

Many economists still believe that most of the approximately 3 million people who lost their jobs due to a pandemic and stopped looking for a job will resume their search as their COVID declines. They say it took years after the 2008-09 recession that the percentage of people working or looking for a job returned to pre-recession levels. The government does not count people as unemployed unless they are actively looking for a job.

Some of the factors that are on the sidelines of many unemployed may be beginning to ease. For example, according to a Census Bureau survey, the number of people not working because they had to stay home to care for their children fell by half in September compared to June. Last fall, when many schools were closed and virtual learning was done, that number was barely down. New census figures suggest that more parents, especially mothers, may have returned to work last month when the school year began and children returned to school.

In addition, Indeed found that the percentage of unemployed Americans who wanted to get a job at the beginning of the school year was more than double that of just two months ago, according to an August survey on the job listing website. I found.

But there are also signs that it may be premature to expect the flood of parents to rejoin the labor market. In a recent speech, Federal Reserve Board member Lael Brainard said 2,000 schools in 39 states were closed for an average of six days due to the COVID-19 outbreak in late September.

Several enhanced unemployment benefits, including a $ 300 weekly federal grant and the first program for gig workers and those who have been unemployed for more than six months, ended in early September. So far, the termination of these programs seems to have had a negligible impact on the number of people seeking work.

Governor of about 25 states terminated the $ 300 benefit before the national expiration in September. A study by Goldman Sachs economists found that unemployed people looking for a job were much more likely to get a job when their benefits ended. However, the early cutoff did not allow bystanders to start the search again, Goldman concluded.

Another reason for the shortage of workers is the surge in housing wealth and equity portfolios since the pandemic, and the surge in retirement of older and wealthier workers who have been able to accumulate savings. is. Goldman Sachs estimates that about 1.5 million people have retired, which would not have been before the pandemic disrupted the economy. Economists predict that many of these people are likely to remain retired.

Meanwhile, fear of COVID continues to be on the sidelines of some job seekers, especially those who previously engaged in public service jobs at restaurants, bars, hotels and retail stores.

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Employers add weak 194,000 jobs Employers add weak 194,000 jobs

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