Report: US economy added 661,000 jobs in September, signaling a slowdown in recovery
A report detailing the state of America's job market and economy released Friday revealed that during September, the economy added 661,000 jobs and the unemployment rate stood at 7.9%, an indication of a further slowdown in hiring as the nation’s COVID-19 caseload increases and government financial aid decreases.
According to CNN, this is the highest the unemployment rate has been ahead of a presidential election since the government started tracking the monthly rate in 1948.
The coronavirus health crisis has devastated America's previously strong job market and more than 22 million jobs vanished in the spring lockdown.
The Labor Department's September jobs report shows that between January 2017 and September, 3.9 million jobs were lost.
America's jobs recovery appears to be running out of steam, CNN reports, after adding back more than a million jobs every month between May and August, job growth slowed down last month.
This is sobering news, as the country is still down 10.7 million jobs since February, before COVID-19 hit.
One of the reasons that fewer positions were added last month may go back to the U.S. census. Over the past months, the Census Bureau had been hiring temporary workers for this year's count, adding as many as 238,000 workers between July and August alone, CNN reports. But in September, Census employment shrank by 41,000 jobs.
In addition to this, multiple companies have announced large-scale layoffs, which will hamper the recovery in coming months. For example, Disney and American Airlines both announced layoffs this week — 28,000 and 19,000 workers, respectively.
The October jobs report will be published on the Friday following the election.