The unemployment rate in the United States broke its downward streak and rose two tenths in August, standing at 3.7%, although the labor market of the world’s leading power remains solid, with figures close to the pre-pandemic era.
The number of unemployed increased in August by 344,000 people and reached six million, according to data published this Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, in English).
Job creation slowed down in August, with 315,000 new jobs, compared to more than half a million registered in July, a figure that meant a return to the levels of February 2020, before the pandemic, when the unemployment rate it was 3.5%.
The data for August therefore imply a relative cooling of the labor market, after the good data for July.
In fact, unemployment had fallen steadily since it peaked at 14.7% in April 2020 and had only risen twice during this period, no more than one tenth.
The creation of 315,000 jobs in August is also less than the average number of jobs created between March and June, when they averaged 388,000.
The excellent strength of the American labor market is one of the main points of pride of the American president, Joe Biden, and one of the strengths he highlights to get away from the feared economic recession.
In fact, after knowing the data, the president described it, through social networks, as “great news”.
“Our labor market remains strong. More and more Americans are going back to work. We are in the midst of a historic manufacturing boom and new historic factory announcements will be made next week,” Biden said.
The United States entered a technical recession in the second quarter of this year, registering two consecutive drops in GDP, although the Government insists that the country cannot be considered to be in recession in view of economic indicators such as employment .
This cooling comes a few days after the president of the Federal Reserve (Fed), Jerome Powell, acknowledged in a speech at the Jackson Hole forum that restoring price stability “will probably require” maintaining a “restrictive” monetary stance for some time. time”, a situation that will have consequences on the labor market.
BLS data shows that, by sector, notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and retail.
By population groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5%) and Hispanics (4.5%) increased in August, while the unemployment rates for adult women (3.3%), adolescents (10, 4%), White (3.2%), Black (6.4%), and Asian (2.8%) had little change for the month.
Among the unemployed, the number of people who lost their permanent job rose by 188,000 to 1.4 million in August. The number of temporary unemployed persons remained virtually unchanged at 782,000.
The number of long-term unemployed (those out of work for 27 weeks or more) was little changed, standing at 1.1 million in August. The long-term unemployed represent 18.8% of the unemployed.
Since May 2020, the BLS has also been asking complementary questions to help measure the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the labor market on topics such as telecommuting.
Thus, 6.5% of employed people teleworked in August due to the pandemic, compared to 7.1% the previous month.
Additionally, 1.9 million people reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic, down from 2.2 million in July.
Among those not in the labor force in August, 523,000 people were unable to look for work due to the health crisis, little changed from the previous month.