US hiring slows sharply in August as delta variant stunts job gains

President Biden delivers remarks on efforts to generate economic growth, create jobs

President Biden delivers remarks on efforts to generate economic growth, create jobs

U.S. hiring slowed sharply in August as the resurgence in new COVID-19 infections impeded job gains. 

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 workers in August as the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, the Labor Department said Friday. Analysts surveyed by Refintiv had expected the addition of 728,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to fall to 5.2%. 

The job gains in the July report were revised higher by 110,000 to 1.053 million. 

The U.S. economy has averaged 586,000 jobs gained per month this year. Nonfarm employment has risen by 17 million since April 2020, but is down 5.3 million from pre-pandemic levels. 

Notable job gains occurred last month in professional and business services (+74,000), transportation and warehousing (+53,000), private education (+40,000) and manufacturing (+37,000). 

Employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged in August following the addition of 380,000 jobs in July. 

Retailers lost 29,000 workers with the biggest declines occurring in food and beverage stores (-23,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (-13,000). Retailers have lost 285,000 laborers since February 2020.

The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.7% and has held in a range between 61.4% and 61.7% since June 2020. 

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This story is developing. Check back for updates. 

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