Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
Total nonfarm employment in the United States rose by only 235,000 jobs in August 2021 – a disappointing figure considering monthly job growth had averaged 586,000 jobs per month so far this year – while the unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent, according to the jobs report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The number of unemployed persons was 8.4 million in August 2021, down considerably from April 2020 but higher than before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in February 2020. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, manufacturing, and other services.
- Professional and business services employment increased by 74,000 jobs in August 2021 but is down by 468,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Transportation and warehousing employment added 53,000 jobs in August 2021 and is 22,000 jobs above its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
- Private education employment increased by 40,000 jobs in August 2021 but is down by 159,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Manufacturing employment rose by 37,000 jobs in August 2021 but is 378,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
- Other services employment added 37,000 jobs in August 2021 but is 189,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
- Information employment increased by 17,000 jobs over in August 2021 but is down by 150,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Financial activities employment rose by 16,000 jobs in August 2021 but is down by 29,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Mining employment added 6,000 jobs in August 2021 but is down by 96,000 jobs since a peak in January 2019.
- Retail trade employment declined by 29,000 jobs in August 2021 and is down by 285,000 jobs since February 2020.
- Employment changed little in other major industries such as construction, health care, leisure and hospitality, and wholesale trade in August 2021.
The jobs report showed the change in employment for June 2021 was revised from 938,000 jobs added to 962,000 jobs added, while July 2021 was revised from 943,000 jobs added to 1,053,000 jobs added. With these revisions, gains in June 2021 and July 2021 were 134,000 jobs higher than previously reported.
The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (PDF). The jobs report for September 2021 will be released on Friday, October 8, 2021. More information about the August 2021 jobs report is at www.bls.gov/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-august-2021.htm.
COVID-19 is a deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of September 3, 2021, there are approximately 219 million global cases and 4.5 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 39 million cases and 643,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.
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