The fastest labor market recovery in modern history continues as the U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate continued to fall in September, decreasing 0.5 percentage point to 7.9%. Every private sector industry reported gains in employment in September with the largest gains in leisure and hospitality (+318,000), retail trade (+142,000), professional and business services (+89,000), transportation and warehousing (+74,000), and manufacturing (+66,000). The September employment situation reflects a continuation of a strong recovery in the labor market as states open, despite declines in government employment. Since the April peak, the unemployment rate has now fallen 6.8 percentage points in just 5 months. Nonfarm employment has risen 11.4 million over the past five months, reversing over 50 percent of job losses in March and April from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Recovery Continues: The fastest economic comeback in modern history continues in September.
- September jobs gains confirm this labor market recovery is among the strongest and fastest in history. In just five months since the recovery began, the United States has gained 11.4 million jobs, recovering nearly 52% of the jobs lost in March and April as a result of the pandemic.
- In comparison, the recovery from the 2008-09 recession under the Obama-Biden administration was the weakest and slowest in modern history. It took 2 and a half years (30 months) for the Obama administration to recover 52% of the jobs lost in the recession.
- The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September.
- 661,000 is far greater than the average monthly gain of 173,000 per month during the Obama-Biden recovery (the average monthly gain from the recession-low to the month when all recession losses had been regained).
- Employment in July and August was revised upward by a combined 145,000.
- Private employment across all industries – excluding government – performed better, increasing 877,000 in September.
- EVERY private sector industry reported gains in employment in September with the largest gains in leisure and hospitality.
- Leisure and Hospitality +318,000 jobs.
- Retail Trade +142,000.
- Professional and Business Services +89,000.
- Transportation and Warehousing +74,000.
- Manufacturing +66,000.
- Construction +26,000 jobs.
- Government -216,000 jobs.
- This job loss is primarily due to seasonal adjustments as the fall hiring season for local education started off weaker than usual.
The economic recovery is benefiting all Americans.
- 68 percent of jobs gains over the past 5 months occurred in relatively low-wage sectors including retail, leisure & hospitality, and education & health services.
- The unemployment rate for all historically disadvantaged groups declined in September.
- Black American employment has increased 1.3 million in the past 5 months. This represents the recovery of roughly 4 in 10 Black American jobs lost in the pandemic.
- It took Obama-Biden nearly 2 years (23 months) to recover the same share of Black American employment lost in the 2008-09 recession.
- Hispanic American employment has increased 3.3 million in the past 5 months. This represents the recovery of roughly 5 in 10 Hispanic American jobs lost in the pandemic.
- It took Obama-Biden 1 year to recover the same share of Hispanic American employment lost in the 2008-09 recession.
- Asian American employment has increased 1.1 million in the past 4 months. Roughly 6 in 10 Asian American jobs lost in the pandemic have been regained in the past 4 months.
- The unemployment rate fell for Hispanics (-0.2 p.p.), Asians (-1.8 p.p.), Black Americans (-0.9 p.p.), those without a high school diploma (-2.0 p.p.), and those with only a high school diploma (-0.8 p.p.).
- The decline in the Asian American unemployment rate matches the largest 1-month decline on record since the series began in 2003.
The economic comeback continues to reduce unemployment and beat expectations.
- This summer, every forecaster expected this year would end with an unemployment rate far above 7.9%.
- The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected in July an unemployment rate of 10.5% at the end of 2020, the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) projected a rate of 9.3%, while the Blue Chip consensus forecast in August was also for a year-ending rate of 9.3%.
- Since the April peak, the number of workers on temporary layoff has declined by nearly 75%, or 13.4 million people.
- Under the Obama-Biden recovery, it took nearly 3 years (35 months) for the unemployment rate to fall from the October 2009 peak to below 7.9%.
On Manufacturing Day, the record is clear. Under President Trump, the manufacturing sector has performed far better than under the Obama-Biden administration.
- Under President Trump’s leadership, the economy added over half a million manufacturing jobs, prior to the pandemic. In comparison, 15,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in the final 12 months prior to the election of President Trump.
- Wages for manufacturing production and nonsupervisory employees grew over 1.6 times faster on average under President Trump’s expansion period (2.8%) vs. President Obama’s expansion period (1.7%).
- In just 5 months, we’ve regained 716,000 manufacturing jobs, or 52.5% of the manufacturing jobs lost as a result of the pandemic in March and April.
- Through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), 238,000 manufacturing establishments received aid totaling over $40 billion and supporting roughly 4.3 million manufacturing employees.