US economy adds 194,000 jobs in September: govt


US economy adds 194,000 jobs in September: govt


October 8, 2021

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States added 194,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent, government data released Friday showed, a mixed result as the world’s largest economy recovers from the pandemic.

Fewer jobs were gained than expected but the unemployment rate dropped by more than analysts predicted, with the Labor Department noting employment rising in the leisure and hospitality sector that had been hard hit by Covid-19, but declining in public education.

Hiring was overall much weaker than the upwardly revised 366,000 positions added in August, and may indicate that the Covid-19 Delta variant made businesses hesitant and held back employment.

While the economy has created 17.4 million jobs since the nadir of the Covid-19 downturn in April 2020, the data showed the United States is still short five million positions it had before the pandemic, with job growth averaging 561,000 per-month in 2021.

The leisure and hospitality sector added 74,000 positions in September, however food and drinking establishments — one of the most vulnerable industries to Covid-19 outbreaks — added almost zero jobs for the second straight month, as compared to the average of 197,000 added each month between January and July.

Local government education lost 144,000 jobs, and state government education shed 17,000 positions during the season when schools are adding staff as students begin the new year, the data said.

However the report warned that “recent employment changes are challenging to interpret, as pandemic-related staffing fluctuations in public and private education have distorted the normal seasonal hiring and layoff patterns.”

The labor force participation rate indicating the share of the population employed or actively looking for work stood at 61.6 percent last month, within the range it has hovered since June of last year.

© Agence France-Presse

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