US Economy Added 194,000 Jobs In September, Badly Missing Expectations

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Harry Wilmerding Contributor
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The U.S. economy recorded an increase of 194,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, according to Department of Labor statistics.

The number of unemployed people fell by 710,000 to 7.7 million in September, according to the Department of Labor statistics released Friday. However, the new jobs figure showed less than half of the 500,000 new jobs economists predicted the report would show, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the spike in employment, the labor market remains thin due to the pandemic, and job growth earlier in the year was considerably stronger, according to the WSJ.

Experts believed that the delta variant scared potential job seekers, which slowed down economic growth in September while companies desperately tried to hire, the WSJ reported. (RELATED: Inflation Hits Another Multi-Decade High After Fed Boosts Projection)

“Ramped up production may be necessary, but you can’t find the employees to ramp it up,” Ann Silver, head of the local Chamber of Commerce in Reno, Nevada, told the WSJ. “We’re hearing that from every sector—hospitality and touring, healthcare, you name it. People can’t be found. Everybody’s quick to say, ‘Wow, the economy is rebounding.’ Well, it can’t without human beings.”

The private sectors added 568,000 jobs in September, a sharp increase from the 340,000 created in Augustaccording to the ADP National Employment Report. Experts projected private companies would add just 425,000 jobs in September, according to CNBC.

Leisure and hospitality added 226,000 private-sector jobs in September, the most of any industry, according to the ADP National Employment Report.

Experts believe that school reopenings enabled a spike in hiring, as school districts likely hired more workers while parents, especially mothers, were able to return to work, the WSJ reported. As COVID-19 cases decline and vaccination rates rise, workers may feel more comfortable returning to their jobs.

“If previous declines in case counts are any guide, the reduced salience of the pandemic will lead to more folks returning to the labor force,” Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, told the WSJ.

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