USA unemployment rate was 5.2% in August 2021

September 6, 2021

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in August, as the unemployment rate decreased to 5.2%, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). BLS mentioned that in August, “notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, manufacturing, and other services. Employment in retail trade declined over the month.”

 Professional and business services added 74,000 jobs in August 2021. According to BLS, “employment increased by 40,000 in private education, declined by 21,000 in state government education, and changed little in local government education (-6,000).” Employment in transportation and warehousing rose 53,000 while manufacturing increased by 37,000 over the month. Other services added 37,000, financial activities (+16,000) and information (+17,000). Additionally, employment in mining increased by 6,000 jobs. Employment in retail trade decreased in August by 29,000 jobs. However, leisure and hospitality employment remained unchanged over the month. Whereas employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, and health care were little changed in August.

Notably, the number of persons on temporary layoff stood at 1.3 million in August. The number of permanent job losers fell by 443,000 to 2.5 million. While the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 246,000 to 3.2 million. Moreover, the number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks in August stood at 2.1 million.

The labour force participation rate for August stood at 61.7%, while the employment population ratio rose to at 58.5%. Nonetheless, persons employed part-time for economic reasons stood at 4.5 million in August. Based on BLS assessment, “these individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”

In August, a total of 1.6 million individuals were slightly attached to the labour force. These persons were not in the labour force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job in the last year. Of the marginally attached, 392,000 persons were classified as discouraged workers in August, a decrease of 115,000 over the month. These persons are not currently seeking work as they believe no jobs are available for them.


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