US Economy Added Only 194,000 Jobs in September

The United States economy added 194,000 jobs in September, another weak month heading into the final stretch of 2021.

  • US economy underscores in adding jobs in September
    The United States economy added 194,000 jobs in September (Image Source: CNN)

On Friday, the labor department reported disappointing results that raised concerns about the speed at which economic recovery is proceeding in the US, amid the spread of the delta variant and lagging vaccination rates.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the United States added just 194,000 jobs in September, well below analysts' forecast of 500,000. Although the unemployment rate dropped from 5.2% to 4.8%, the pandemic still takes a toll on workers as at least 6 million Americans last month. 

The United States has 5 million jobs less than it did pre-pandemic. Low-wage jobs register the worst scores, as skilled labor almost recovered from the pandemic job loss by May, according to the report. "We'd like it to be that easy. But Thornton has been easy in the pandemic. The challenges are still substantial to getting people back,” stated Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thorton, to the Washington Post.

COVID-19, Hurricane Ida and wildfires are contributing factors

Other economists said that some positive signs can be noticed despite the series of "unfortunate crises." The nation's coronavirus spread, Hurricane Ida and wildfires in California can be considered as contributing elements to this result. 

Since the pandemic began, millions of workers have left the labor force; women are more affected by the circumstances as child care is one of the main causes. Employment declined in the state and local government education sector by 161,000, although this might be attributed in part to "seasonal adjustments made by the statisticians who compile the report that are based on pre-pandemic hiring trends, like school staffing surges in September."  

Biden: Congress needs to support spending proposals

The cessation of unemployment benefits did little to stimulate hiring, as people are less willing to take lower-paying jobs amid pandemic "complexities like health concerns or child care worries are still an issue."

Biden joined other Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in claiming that the employment data underscored the need for Congress to support his spending proposals, which include infrastructure improvements and early childhood education.

Numbers of jobs created 

Despite the negative data, many sectors started adding job opportunities to the economy, for instance, bars and restaurants contributed to creating 29,000 jobs. Moreover, technical consulting services and computer systems design added 60,000 jobs for the month, retail added 56,000 jobs, and transportation and warehousing maintained its growth, increasing by 47,000 jobs.