For the second consecutive month, job creation in the United States shows disappointing figures due to the impact of the delta variant of the coronavirus. The labor market added just 194,000 jobs in September, according to data released this Friday by the Labor Department, representing the slowest growth rate of the year. The figure, below the forecasts of the economists, is much lower than the records of June and July, when the data touched one million new jobs. The unemployment rate fell from 5.2% to 4.8%, largely due to many workers leaving the labor market.
September was going to be the month of resurgence, but it ended up being the month with the lowest rate of job creation since December 2020. The face-to-face return to schools was going to allow jobless parents, particularly mothers, to return to the market, However, the covid outbreaks rekindled fears and thousands of unemployed decided to search for work. Although there are schools that remain closed as a precaution, the trend is encouraging: the number of people who are out of work because they have to take care of a child decreased by half compared to June.
Economists projected that the end of unemployment benefits would have a greater impact on job creation. Several benefits ended in early September, including federal pay of $ 300 a week to people out of work. Until now, the mobilizing effect has been of little relevance. The main reason people avoid going back to the job market is fear of contracting the coronavirus, according to a survey conducted in August by job search website Indeed.
The data published this morning was collected in mid-September, at one of the most critical moments of the delta variant, and has served as a reminder of the control that the pandemic still has over the US economy. With covid cases declining, restaurant visits are increasing slightly and consumers eager to spend.
But the number of job openings is at a record high, and many employers report that they are having difficulty filling positions. Almost 11 million jobs were left unfilled at the end of July, the highest on record, a figure higher than the number of unemployed looking for work, according to the most up-to-date data from the Labor Department. Aware of the problem, employers increased the average hourly wage of private sector workers in September by 4.6% compared to the previous year.