As summer comes to an end (how have we already passed Labor Day?), it’s time to take a look back at what the last few months have brought.
While the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of economic uncertainty in the first half of 2020, as we near the end of Q3, we’re starting to see real recovery in the job market. The April unemployment peak (14.7%), is now far in the past, and rates have steadily improved as Americans return to work. In fact, the unemployment rate is now lower than that of the Great Recession, which peaked around 10% in 2009.
But this isn’t all that’s leaving us optimistic. Here are a few of our top takeaways from the most recent new release (published in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ news release on Friday, September 4th), or keep scrolling for an infographic that gives you just the numbers you need to know.
Warehousing and storage continue to lead job growth for the transportation and warehousing industry. In August, the industry gained 78,000 jobs, with more than 40% of those (34,000) in warehousing and storage. Notably, this is one of the few areas that shows higher employment numbers in August of 2020 than in August of 2019.
The impact of the pandemic on job searching is decreasing. While in July 6.5 million unemployed Americans (those actively searching for jobs or temporarily laid off) reported being unable to look for work due to the pandemic, that number decreased by 1.3 million in August. That number may reflect higher employment numbers or simply greater numbers of active job seekers who feel able to execute their search.
The number of “involuntary part-time workers” continues to fall. Though still 3.3 million higher than in February, the number of people who worked part-time because of business conditions or slack work has steadily decreased over the past few months, falling 871,000 in August. This may be a result of recovering businesses or may show that the full-time work these individuals want is becoming more available.
More Americans are heading back to the office. Even telework numbers are trending more towards normal. The number of people who worked at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic decreased by 2.1% in August. As more and more of these individuals return to their offices, there may be benefits for the service-industry businesses that typically serve commuters and nearby offices.
Check out the infographic below for more of the numbers:
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