The U.S. economy gained 661,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 7.9%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the September job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 661,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 7.9 percent. Employment dropped for women, so this decline reflects lower labor force participation for women. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
#JobsReport unemployment rate dropped, but the share of white women and of Black men who were employed dropped, both their labor force participation rates dropped, so the 7.9% unemployment rate is not showing that much improvement for workers. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
#JobsReport for the second straight month, the unemployment rate for high school dropouts fell, this time from 12.6 to 10.6%--that rate for high school dropouts is lower than THE Black unemployment rate of 12.1%. @AFLCIO @gbenga_ajilore @rolandsmartin @CBTU72— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
The job market remains a challenge: 1) for women who head families, their unemployment rate only fell from 10.4 to 10.0%; 2) for Blacks the unemployment rate is 12.1%; 3) for immigrant women the unemployment rate is 11.2%; 4) the Hispanic unemployment rate is 10.3%. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
#JobsReport as a rising share of the unemployed are long term unemployed (over 26 weeks) it gets increasingly difficult to clear the backlog. The other challenge is getting them help since regular state unemployment insurance maxes out at 26 weeks; why the #HeroesAct is important pic.twitter.com/hDvhyg9ij1— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
#JobsReport and the challenges of the market are complicated by this developing switch from falling temporary layoffs to rising permanent job losses. January will start with a very scarred labor market. What has appeared quick healing is now calcifying. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/k6BigT5izS— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
#JobsReport numerous research studies done of the Great Recession showed that unemployment insurance generosity played a role in keeping people in the labor force. The loss of $600 in Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation does not appear to have made LFPR increase. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
#JopbsReport in the private sector, all industries showed some growth, with most of the job bounce back in the heavily hit restaurant and retail sectors. But, payroll growth has moderated overall. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/tWoaT5VNwe— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 2, 2020
Last month's biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (318,000), retail trade (142,000), health care and social assistance (108,000), professional and business services (89,000), transportation and warehousing (74,000), manufacturing (66,000), financial activities (37,000), other services (36,000), information grew (27,000), construction (26,000) and wholesale trade (19,000). Government (-216,000) and private education (-69,000) saw job losses. Employment changed little in mining over the month.
In September, the unemployment rates declined for Black Americans (12.1%), Asians (8.9%), adult women (7.7%), adult men (7.4%) and White Americans (7.0%). The rates for teenagers (15.9%) and Hispanics (10.3%) showed little change over the month.
The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose in September.