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The US economy added 1.37 million jobs in August, and the unemployment rate declined to 8.4%, the Labor Department reported Friday.
While the report was stronger than economists expected, it also showed that the pace of the labor market recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has continued to slow down.
Here are seven charts that break down the report, showing how far the labor market recovery has come and how far there is to go.
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The August jobs report yet again showed that while the US labor market is recovering from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, the pace is slowing and there’s still a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels. The US economy added 1.4 million jobs in August, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.4%, the Labor Department reported Friday. So far, the US economy has recovered 48% of jobs from pre-coronavirus levels. “Progress is clearly being made but there are still 11.5 million people who are out of a job as a result of the COVID shock,” said Michelle Meyer, US economist at Bank of America, in a Friday note. And, the overall pace of job gains slowed in August from previous months. “The private sector only added 1.0 million jobs which shows a deceleration from the recent pace of job creation,” said Meyer. “Clearly there is still more work to be done to fully heal the labor market.”
Read more: A fund manager at a $629 billion firm lays out his strategy for ‘making money at the expense of machines’ during the stock market’s sell-off — and shares 4 sectors he’s betting onProvided below are seven charts breaking down the most important data points in the August jobs report.
1. The headline unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, well below economists’ expectations.
The unemployment rate also reached its first single-digit reading of the coronavirus pandemic in August, and is down significantly from the peak of 14.7% in April. Still, the unemployment rate is historically high. It’s more than twice the pre-pandemic low of 3.5%.
3. The labor force participation rate also ticked up in August, but is still below pre-pandemic levels.