2 Words on Jobs Report: 'Huge Disappointment'

August numbers come in far below expectations
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2021 8:27 AM CDT
2 Words on Jobs Report: 'Huge Disappointment'
A hiring sign is seen at a retail store in Vernon Hills, Ill., Wednesday, Aug.18, 2021.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The new jobs report is in for August, and lackluster might be one word to describe it. "Huge disappointment" (CNBC) and "surprisingly weak" (the AP) are others. The key numbers:

  • New jobs: Employers added 235,000 jobs for the month, but that is far below expectations of 720,000 or so. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the figure is also a steep drop of 1.1 million gains in July and 962,000 in June.
  • The rate: The unemployment rate still managed to drop from 5.4% to 5.2%.
  • Culprit: No surprise that the delta variant is getting the lion's share of the blame. The leisure and hospitality industries in particular fared badly, as new hiring effectively stalled. Unemployment in that sector rose to 9.1%
  • One view: "Today’s jobs report reflects a major pullback in employment growth likely due to the rising impact of the delta variant of COVID-19 on the US economy, though August is also a notoriously difficult month to survey accurately due to vacations," Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens, tells CNBC.
(More jobs report stories.)

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