Washington-US employers added only 235,000 jobs in August. After two months of strong hiring, this increase was unexpectedly weak, while the spread of delta variables has prevented some people from flying, shopping, and going out. Dining.
The August employment growth reported by the government on Friday was much lower than the sharp monthly increase of approximately 1 million in June and July. These increases have been revised to add a total of 134,000 people. The gains in June and July were realized after widespread vaccination, which allowed the economy to completely reopen from pandemic restrictions.
Despite this, the number of job vacancies is still at a record level, and recruitment is expected to remain stable in the coming months. Although recruitment was relatively tepid in August, the unemployment rate fell to 5.2% from 5.4% in July.
Friday’s report provided many signs that the delta variable had a dampening effect on employment growth last month. The economic sectors with the weakest recruitment are mainly those that require face-to-face contact with the public.
For example, after industries such as restaurants, bars, and hotels added about 400,000 jobs in June and July, the number of recruits dropped to zero. With the surge in COVID cases this summer, Americans are buying fewer airline tickets and fewer hotel accommodations. After restaurant dining was fully restored in late June, it has dropped to about 10% lower than pre-pandemic levels.
The slowdown in travel and dining out means that employers have no reason to increase jobs in these areas. As delta variants spread, many job seekers may be reluctant to accept public-facing jobs.
Healthcare and government employers also laid off workers in August. Despite the strong demand for new houses, construction companies that have been struggling to find workers have lost 3,000 jobs.
Government employers laid off 8,000 jobs, mainly because of the sharp decline in local education recruitment after strong growth in June and July. As schools prepare to reopen during the pandemic, this decline reflects, at least in part, the instability of hiring patterns in education.
One of the areas where hiring was strong last month was manufacturers, shipping and warehousing companies.
However, employment growth in service industries involving public participation has declined sharply, which is the result of a decrease in public transportation in some cases. For example, some live performances, including the remaining concerts of country star Gas Brooks’ tour, have been cancelled. The delay of companies returning to their offices threatened the survival of some restaurants, coffee shops and dry cleaners in the city centre.
However, there is a lot of evidence that many companies are still looking for hiring, especially employers who are not in public-facing service industries such as restaurants and bars. The job listing website Indeed stated that, driven by industries such as information technology and finance, the number of available jobs in August has increased, and many employees can work from home.
Wal-Mart announced this week that it will recruit 20,000 employees to expand its supply chain and online shopping business, including the jobs of order fillers, drivers and managers. Amazon said on Wednesday that it hopes to fill 40,000 jobs in the United States, mainly technical and hourly workers.
Fidelity Investments said on Tuesday that it is adding 9,000 jobs, including customer service and IT.
The slowdown in hiring last month shows that although many companies want to fill jobs, they cannot find all the employees they need. This trend is pushing up wages. Compared with the same period last year, wages in August increased by 4.3%. For example, Wal-Mart stated that it provided more than 500,000 store employees with a salary increase of $1 per hour.
The governors of about 25 states are almost entirely led by Republican governors who cut off the $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit in June and July because they said the extra money prevented recipients from finding work. However, Friday’s report showed that the proportion of Americans who had a job or were looking for a job was flat in August, indicating that the deadline had little effect.