October jobs report: Economy added 638,000 jobs as unemployment rate fell to 6.9%
Last month, 638 thousand new jobs appeared in the American labor market, but further economic growth is threatened by an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections.
In October, 638,000 new jobs were added to the US labor market. This is stated in the report of the Ministry of Labor, published on Friday. According to the Ministry of Labor, the unemployment rate fell to 6.9% from 7.9% compared to September.
This means that the economy is growing at a steady pace, albeit at a much slower pace than is necessary to recover most of the jobs that have been lost in the recession linked to restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The country now has 10.1 million fewer jobs than it was before the COVID-19 outbreak in March.
Statistics show that the recovery of the American economy has not been hindered so far, even despite the increase in cases of COVID-19 infection. Growth in October was slightly lower than in September, when 672,000 new jobs were added to the market, and more than half of that in August, when 1.5 million jobs appeared in the United States..
However, the gain in October was actually larger than the statistics show, mainly due to the elimination of about 150,000 temporary jobs created at the time of the census. With the exception of jobs created by federal and local governments, private employers have opened 906,000 new positions. Job growth has been particularly strong in construction, retail, hospitality and catering.
However, some large companies are still laying off employees. Late last month, ExxonMobil announced it was cutting 1,900 jobs, mostly at its headquarters. Chevron said it will lay off about a quarter of its employees from its recently acquired Noble Energy division. Boeing plans to significantly reduce the staff, depending on the further development of the situation – layoffs can affect from 30,000 to 130,000 people, the company admitted.
The labor market and the economy as a whole are still under pressure from the intensifying pandemic. On Thursday, the country broke another record for the number of new cases of infection – in seven days, almost 90,000 Americans were infected with the coronavirus daily. That number surpassed 100,000 on Friday, with infections rising across the country, including Texas, Illinois and Florida..
The economy, which started to grow sharply in July, began to slow down in October. Many businesses, especially restaurants and bars, which have used the opportunity to accommodate visitors in the open air, may face difficulties due to the cold snap. There is also a risk that Americans may refuse shopping, travel, and other activities to avoid infection..
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned about possible difficulties. On Friday, she commented on the Labor Department’s report on job growth, recalling that “the number of new infections is increasing at a shocking, record rate,” while “initial assistance from Congress is dwindling.” Pelosi urged authorities to “quell the spread of the virus and protect American lives and livelihoods,” promising that Democrats “will work to create jobs and raise wages for all hardworking Americans.”.
Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, warned Thursday that the pandemic still poses a growing threat to the economy..
“People who may have started doing things they didn’t do – flying, booking hotels, going to restaurants, bars … they may stop doing it in a situation of a sudden increase in diseases in a city or state …” – said Powell at a press conference after the Fed meeting on financial policy.
Powell acknowledged that the pandemic did not do as much damage to the economy in the summer as many feared, in part because the multi-million dollar bailout package passed by Congress provided “substantial” support to American consumers and private business..
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