Jobs Growth Falls Short of Expectations in September

October 2, 2020

Payrolls grew less than expected last month, leaving some economists to wonder if the economic recovery is starting to slow. The nation added 661,000 jobs last month, far short of the 800,000 that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected. Much of the shortfall came from government hiring, as state and local governments need fewer workers with schools closed, and the federal government ramped down census hiring.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.9%, beating expectations that it would fall to 8.2%. While this is good news, it may not paint as rosy a picture as it seems. The decline in unemployment also comes with a 0.3% drop in labor participation. This means that nearly 700,000 workers stopped looking for work or retired.

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