By Isaac Cohen*
For the second consecutive month, job creation in the United States decreased from almost 2 million jobs in June and July to 560,000 in August and September, mostly due to the spread of the coronavirus delta variant. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta GDPNow model, on October 8, projected this year’s third quarter real economic growth in the United States will be only 1.3 percent. https://www.atlantafed.org/cqer/research/gdpnow.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=mailchimp&utm_campaign=cqer-research
The creation of only 194,000 new jobs in October was the worst monthly figure registered so far this year. Some sectors increased hiring, such as 56,000 in retail and 60,000 in professional and business services. The deepest fall of 161,000 jobs was in government payrolls, mostly in the education sector. Almost 5 million persons remain unemployed, with half of them more than six months. Wages increased 0.6 percent in September, 4.6 percent from a year ago, while inflation approached 5 percent.
The unemployment rate decreased from 5.2 percent in August to 4.8 percent in September, due to a reduction in the number of persons looking for work, because of retirement, fear of contagion, or lack of childcare services. For instance, more than 300,000 women over the age of 20 left the labor force in September.
One of the main questions is how the central bank will interpret these disappointing figures, at its next meeting in early November.
*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.