Total Payroll Rose by 1.4 Million in August

The U.S. labor market saw 1.4 million jobs added in August. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.4% which shows a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s The Employment Situation for August shows total nonfarm payroll employment jumped by 1.4 million. This increase comes after a 4.8 million increase in June and a 1.7 million increase in July.

The summary indicates that in the past four months, the country has seen 10.6 million new jobs created. This is good news after 22.1 million jobs in March and April were lost due to the pandemic.

Government employment rose in August which added up to 25% of the gain in total payroll employment recorded for the month. The 344,000 new jobs were due mainly to the hiring of temporary positions for the 2020 census.

Retail trade, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, education and health services and temporary health services all saw an increase in jobs in the six figures. Health care and social assistance, transportation and warehousing, goods-producing, financial activities, manufacturing, nondurable goods, construction, information, wholesale trade, durable goods and utilities fell under the six-figure mark while mining and logging lost jobs.

August also saw an 8.4% decline in the unemployment rate which dropped 1.8 percentage points. Those that were unemployed declined by 2.8 million and those looking for a job or already with a job (labor force participation rate) rose to 61.7%.

As far as the housing industry goes, residential construction employment went up 27,700 to 2.9 million in August. The breakdown shows 820,000 builders and 2.1 million residential specialty trade contractors.

The unemployment rate for construction workers also dropped 9.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis. This shows a drop in the unemployment rate for construction workers for the past four months.

Along with the data, the Household Survey indicated 24.3% of employed teleworked or worked from home due to COVID-19. The Household Survey report comes from questions added to the Current Population Survey (CPS) since May 2020.

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