Nonfarm payrolls rose 1.37 million in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent as the U.S. economy emerged from the pandemic.
The unemployment rate was the lowest since the coronavirus shutdown in March, according to Labor Department figures released on Friday. The alternative measure of having part-time jobs due to depressed workers and financial reasons also fell from 16.5% in July to 14.2% and 22.8% in April.
Economists surveyed by the Dow Jones forecast growth of 1.32 million from 10.2 percent in July and a drop in the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent.
Markets rose sharply in the news as Dow Futures made a public gain after selling aggressively on Thursday.
Government hiring helped boost the total, with an increase of 344,000 workers a quarter of the monthly profit. Most of that recruitment came from Census workers, whose list grew to 328,000. Despite concerns about a revenue crisis at the municipal level, local government employment has increased by 95,000.
The total of those in Furloff also fell at once. 24.2 million people said they were not working because their employer closed or lost business due to the epidemic, down from 31.3 million in July.
Other big job gains from retail added 249,000 positions, while professional and business services rose 197,000 and leisure and hospitality, the hardest hit during the epidemic, made 174,000 profits, mostly in bars and restaurants.
Education and health services also showed strong gains at 147,000, while transport increased by 78,000 due to large gains in warehousing and storage jobs. Economic activity increased by 36,000, manufacturing by 29,000 and wholesale trade by 14,000.
The unemployment rate for blacks fell 1.6 percentage points to 13 percent, for Asians it was 10.7 percent and for Hispanics it fell 2.4 percentage points to 10.5 percent.
The report came amid a raft of mostly positive financial signs, with retail sales, real estate and manufacturing showing sharp rebounds to their coronavirus lows. However, if economists do not get another round of stimulus from Congress, activity incentives may be short-lived. Job gains in August meant more than half of those displaced during the epidemic were back at work.
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