Washington-US employers only added 235,000 jobs in August. After two months of strong hiring, the increase was unexpectedly weak. This is by far the most obvious sign that the spread of delta mutation has prevented some people from taking it Airplane, shopping and dining out.
The August employment growth reported by the government on Friday was far below the impressive annual growth of approximately 1 million in the previous two months. The surge in recruitment in June and July came after widespread vaccination, which completely reopened the economy from pandemic constraints. Now, as Americans buy fewer airline tickets, fewer hotel accommodations, and fewer entertainment venues, some employers in these areas have slowed down their hiring.
Despite this, the number of job vacancies is still at a record level, many employers are still eager for workers, and overall recruitment is expected to remain stable in the coming months. Even with tepid employment growth in August, the unemployment rate fell to 5.2% from 5.4% in July. Since many consumers are still willing to spend money and companies are willing to hire, the overall US economy still looks healthy.
However, the details in the employment report on Friday show how the delta variable suppressed employment growth last month. The economic sectors with the weakest recruitment are mainly those that require face-to-face contact with the public. Compared with July, more Americans said they were unable to work in August because their employers closed or lost their businesses due to the pandemic.
Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo Bank, said: “The impact of delta variables on the job market has exceeded many of us expectations.” “Workers have taken longer to return to the labor market than we expected.”
A few months ago, many economists and officials at the White House and the Federal Reserve had predicted that the abduction of the epidemic would encourage more people to resume job hunting. They hope that the worries about getting sick at work will subside. As schools reopen, more parents, especially women, will return to the workplace.
So far, this has not happened. Therefore, many economists now predict that the Federal Reserve will postpone the announcement that it will start withdrawing the special support it provided to the economy after the pandemic broke out in March last year.
Wells Fargo Economist House said that the August employment report “closed the door”, indicating the prospect of the Fed’s announcement of a callback when it meets later this month. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made it clear last week that if the economy continues to improve, the Fed will begin to reverse its ultra-low interest rate policy later this year.
After industries such as restaurants, bars, and hotels added about 400,000 jobs in June and July, the number of recruits in these industries dropped to zero in August. According to data from the reservation website OpenTable, after the restaurant’s full recovery in late June, it has dropped to about 9% lower than its pre-pandemic level.
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.
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. This decline is mainly due to the pandemic disrupting normal recruitment patterns, as schools have closed and then face-to-face courses have been reopened.
However, many employers are still seeking recruitment. 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. The National Federation of Independent Businesses said on Thursday that its survey showed that half of small businesses have unfilled jobs.
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.
Difficulties in filling positions are forcing more companies to offer higher salaries. Compared with the same period last year, hourly wages in August increased strongly 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 there has been little impact so far.