'Oof!': Economists React To August Jobs Report On Twitter
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 jobs in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% after previously dropping to 5.4% in July.
Job gains were heaviest in professional and business services, led by the architectural and engineering services sector, which added 19,000 jobs in August.
The transportation and warehousing industry added 53,000 jobs in August and is now 22,000 jobs above its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
The retail trade industry lost 29,000 jobs in August, and the industry now has 285,000 fewer jobs than it did in February 2020. Employment figures in leisure and hospitality were unchanged in August after adding, on average, 350,000 jobs per month over the previous six months.
Construction employment also showed little change in August.
The U.S. economy has now added 17 million jobs since April 2020, but it is still down 5.3 million jobs from February 2020.
Here's how economists and others reacted to the August jobs report on Twitter.
Oof! Only 235k jobs added in August, but the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.2%— Nick Bunker (@nick_bunker) September 3, 2021
Not good, not good!— Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior) September 3, 2021
If you thought that we were going to have a jobs number like July you haven't been paying attention. https://t.co/sm2mNnEEIK— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) September 3, 2021
ZERO JOBS added in leisure and hospitality. 41.5k jobs lost in food services and drinking places.— Nick Bunker (@nick_bunker) September 3, 2021
That has delta variant written all over it
The big red flag in the August jobs report: Job LOSSES in retail and restaurants — likely b/c of the Delta variant.— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) September 3, 2021
Retail: -29,000 jobs
Job gains elsewhere:
Biz: +74,000 jobs
#jobsday with almost half the states having ended pandemic UI programs, we can be pretty sure now that the $300 weekly supplements were not a big factor holding back job gains— Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) September 3, 2021
Overall, the U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in August, far below projections and way way below the past two months of pretty robust growth.— Chabeli Carrazana (@ChabeliH) September 3, 2021
Only 28,000 net jobs went to women, 208,000 went to men.
What is particularly startling about this is that school hasn't even started yet. I can't even imagine how mother's LFP will fare amidst continual exposures and quarantines. https://t.co/epYynML8ju— Kate Bahn (@LipstickEcon) September 3, 2021
In a few weeks we'll get the geographic detail on the slowdown in jobs growth, and it'll be interesting to see how much more dramatic it is in the Delta-afflicted South.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) September 3, 2021
Guess who is bearing the economic burden of the Delta resurgence? https://t.co/sMeQm3hYJI— Shawn Donnan (@sdonnan) September 3, 2021
#JobsDay Once again the Black labor force shows employers are the problem. Black labor force participation went up, more Black workers did land jobs, but more did not, so the Black unemployment rate went up from 8.2 to 8.8% Employers don't mean they can't find anybody. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 3, 2021
The other somewhat worrying aspect of today's #JobsReport is that average hourly wages jumped by 0.6%. Good for those earning them, but suggestive of higher #inflation.— Carl R. Tannenbaum (@NT_CTannenbaum) September 3, 2021
Working from home was flat in August — first month without a decline this year. WFH has dropped every month except when virus surged. pic.twitter.com/E5Xeyvku6j— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) September 3, 2021
Government employment is still down 790,000 since Feb 2020. This is entirely due to losses in state and local govt jobs, which faces a 815,000 job shortfall, about half in state and local education employment. This is a key indicator to watch with school openings in September. pic.twitter.com/81KpJBR1AO— Elise Gould (@eliselgould) September 3, 2021
A few concerning things we'll have to watch:— Chabeli Carrazana (@ChabeliH) September 3, 2021
- The fields that have been adding jobs (particularly for women) lost jobs or were flat this month. Hospitality, state & local education and retail.
- 5.6M people didn't work bc employer lost business or closed, up from 5.2M in July
COVID is still the obvious constraint on the economy. When it gets worse, the job numbers tend to get worse.— Alan Cole (@AlanMCole) September 3, 2021
And this is true even when states more or less lift all restrictions.
This may not be the most convenient observation or the most original Take, but it seems very clear.