US adds 1.4 million jobs in August, but is still down 11.5 million jobs since Covid hit

The US job market remains in a deep hole during the ongoing pandemic, and now the recovery is losing some of its momentum.Employers added 1.4 million...

Posted: Sep 4, 2020 4:04 PM

The US job market remains in a deep hole during the ongoing pandemic, and now the recovery is losing some of its momentum.

Employers added 1.4 million jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Job growth at that level marks a slowdown from earlier this summer: Employers added a revised 1.7 million jobs in July and 4.8 million jobs in June.

Every person who can go back to work is a win after the unprecedented economic crisis the Covid-19 pandemic has brought on. However, America is still down 11.5 million jobs from February.

Millions of families are still in need of benefits to make ends meet while Congress continues to argue about the next stimulus package.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.4% from 10.2% in July. It's below 10% — which was also its Great Recession peak — for the first time since March.

It was a much bigger decrease than economists had expected, and appears to have resulted from workers on short-term or temporary layoffs finding jobs again.

But this improvement was offset by some other factors. Permanent job losses increased by more than half a million to 3.4 million. More than 8 million Americans have been unemployed for 15 weeks or more.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate didn't improve evenly across different groups. The White unemployment rate is only 7.3%, while it remains above 10% for Black, Hispanic and Asian workers. The Black unemployment rate is the highest at 13%.

Retailers added nearly 250,000 jobs in August as consumers started shopping at brick-and-mortar stores again, but like the broader economy, that sector still hasn't regained all the jobs it initially lost in the early months of the pandemic.

The federal government also added about 250,000 jobs, but 238,000 of those roles were for temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Hiring for the survey could continue to boost job numbers in September. That said, these workers will be laid off again after the Census concludes.

"More people with more jobs is something to celebrate, but we need to be concerned about how sustainable these gains will be," said Nick Bunker, economic research director for the Indeed Hiring Lab, in emailed comments.

For example: The leisure and hospitality industry, which was hardest hit by the pandemic, continues to recover with another 174,000 jobs added last month. But it's far fewer than the 621,000 added in the previous month.

"The fact is that there may be limits to how rapidly these sectors can recover given the numerous mandates and safety protocols in place," said Rick Rieder, BlackRock's chief investment officer of global fixed income, in a note.

There are concerns about renewed layoffs ahead if a second wave of the virus picks up during colder months later this year.

A weak job market in an election year

The economic recovery is slowing at a critical juncture, just months ahead of the presidential election. President Donald Trump is heading into the general election with the worst jobs numbers of any president, based on records that go back to World War II.

As of August, the US economy is down 4.7 million jobs since January 2017 when Trump took office, according to the Labor Department.

During the Republican National Convention last week, the president promised to create 10 million new jobs in 10 months. Trump's promise could prove difficult to achieve, but even if his prediction comes true, the US economy wouldn't have gained back all the jobs lost in the pandemic.

Economic activity plunged in March and April when stay-at-home orders went into effect, and then started improving as the federal government deployed aid including stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits and loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. Now that sugar rush is wearing off.

The CNN Business' Back-to-Normal Index, which tracks the recovery, shows it has moved mostly sideways since June. (Click here to see the recovery in your state.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 399808

Reported Deaths: 6346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin52652672
Cuyahoga39132746
Hamilton31491372
Montgomery21355242
Butler15768149
Lucas15301420
Summit14667330
Stark9780209
Warren878777
Mahoning7985301
Lake752566
Lorain7149106
Clermont622953
Delaware597337
Licking589977
Trumbull5867148
Fairfield576464
Greene559568
Clark5438129
Allen518389
Medina496557
Marion489359
Wood4861108
Miami456268
Pickaway410548
Portage385574
Columbiana376599
Tuscarawas360567
Richland349639
Wayne340894
Mercer299248
Muskingum262510
Hancock257240
Ross251259
Darke246160
Auglaize243935
Erie240868
Ashtabula240454
Putnam234549
Geauga227051
Union20838
Scioto204316
Lawrence201139
Shelby199917
Athens19984
Seneca192919
Belmont176729
Madison172019
Sandusky166429
Huron163022
Preble162521
Defiance149923
Holmes146939
Knox139719
Logan139018
Jefferson138113
Fulton135826
Crawford134417
Washington133427
Ottawa128830
Ashland117328
Williams11479
Clinton113115
Highland108118
Brown10755
Hardin107019
Henry105423
Champaign10535
Jackson102012
Van Wert99918
Fayette97317
Guernsey96814
Morrow9682
Coshocton91015
Perry86613
Adams83813
Gallia81615
Pike7921
Wyandot76118
Paulding70012
Hocking68516
Noble65124
Carroll53210
Meigs41712
Monroe34921
Morgan2925
Harrison2433
Vinton2326
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Angola
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Huntington
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 29°
Decatur
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Van Wert
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Warm Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events