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  • Writer's pictureNick Andriacchi

August Jobs - Inside The Numbers

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Key Points:

  • Temporary help gained 106,700 jobs in August. This is the third month in a row of strong job gains, although it did slow a little.

  • I am seeing an increased demand for lower skilled labor which is reflected in the rise of the workweek hours in manufacturing (.3). All this reinforces employers desire to hire contractors first, as COVID outbreaks could cause states to reimpose restrictions.

  • Employers continued to bring back furloughed workers last month, but at a slower pace than in the spring, and millions of Americans remain out of work. In August, less than half of unemployed workers reported being on temporary layoff or furlough. Back in April, that figure was nearly 80 percent. 

inside the numbers:

Analysis of the August Employment Report

  • Prime age labor force participation rate (ages 25-54) was up this month by .1% to 81.4%.

  • The overall labor force participation was up .3% to 61.7%.

  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents to $29.47.

  • The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours in August. In manufacturing, the workweek rose by 0.3 hour to 40.0 hours, and overtime increased by 0.1 hour to 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.0 hours.

  • The Jobs Opening and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) Report showed that on the last business day of July, the number and rate of job openings increased to 6.6 million (+617,000) and 4.5 percent, respectively. Job openings rose in a number of industries, with the largest increases in retail trade (+172,000), health care and social assistance (+146,000), and construction (+90,000). The number of job openings increased in the South and Midwest regions., The next report will be released October 10th.

  • In August,the number of permanent job losers increased by 534,000 to 3.4 million; this measure has risen by 2.1 million since February. The number of unemployed reentrants to the labor force declined by 263,000 to 2.1 million. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.)

  • Continuing claims from those filing for at least two weeks rose from the previous week, hitting 13.385 million, an increase of 93,000 from last week’s report and an indicator that the strong jobs improvement through the summer may be tailing off entering the fall.

· Private payrolls rose by 428,000 in August, according to a report from ADP. 

Source: US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

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