The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent, indicating that the economy continued to add jobs even as coronavirus infections rose across many states.
Economists had forecast an addition of around 800,0000 jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent from 8.4 percent last month. So Friday’s figures missed on job creation but beat on the unemployment rate.
“The easy part of the labor market recovery is largely behind us now. A lot of jobs still came back in September but the pace of improvement is clearly slowing. The sobering statistic here is that 36% of unemployed are now classed as permanent job losers, up from 14% in May,” said Brian Coulton, Fitch Chief Economist.
There was a huge decline in education employment and government jobs. Government employment overall declined by 216,000 in September. Employment in local government education fell by 231,000 and state government education fell by 49,000. A decrease of 34,000 in federal government was driven by a decline in the number of temporary Census 2020 workers.