September 2020 Employment Summary

  • On October 29, 2020

September 2020 Employment Summary

Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers by providing useful information and data to paint an overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and the possible factors involved. 

For the month of September, employment rose to 661,000, declining the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent. While the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) identifies a steady decline in the unemployment rate over a period of a couple of months, unemployment is still higher than the report from February. This is due to the unpredictability of the coronavirus on the economy. The unemployment rate of recent college graduates is 9.1 percent, a 1.5 percent decrease compared to August. 

Temporary unemployment decreased by 1.5 million to result in an overall 4.6 million. Similar to the unemployment rate, while it is steadily declining it is still recovering from the impact of COVID-19. Unemployed job leavers, persons who quit or left their employment to look for a new opportunity, rose from 212,000 to 801,000. The number of unemployed persons who were jobless for less than 5 weeks increased from 271,00 to 2.6 million. The number of persons jobless 5 to 14 weeks decreased by 402,000, and those jobless 15 to 26 weeks decreased by 1.6 million. Long-term unemployed persons, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, increased 781,000. 

Part-time employment declined by 1.3 million due to the number of people experiencing hours cut due to business conditions impacted by regulations and limitations set to combat COVID-19 by state and local governments. Due to this impact, part-time involuntary workers increased for businesses trying to maintain operations.   

The top four industries hiring in September were leisure and hospitality, retail trade, health care and assistance, and professional and business services. Leisure and hospitality increase by 318,000 with almost two-thirds gain in the food services and drinking industries. Retail trade contributed 142,000 jobs over the month, with accruals widespread in the industry. Clothing and clothing accessories stores accounted for about one-fourth of the change with notable employment increases occurred in general merchandise stores, motor vehicle and parts dealers, and health and personal care stores. Employment in retail trade is 483,000 lower than in February. Employment in health care and social assistance rose by 108,000. Health care added 53,000 jobs in September, with continued growth in offices of physicians, home health care services, and offices of other health practitioners. Social assistance added 55,000 jobs, mostly in individual and family services and in child daycare services. Professional and business services added 89,000 jobs due to increases in services to buildings and dwellings, architectural and engineering services, and computer systems design and related services.

September also saw noticeable increases in other industries. Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 74,000, manufacturing with 66,000 jobs, and financial activities adding 37,000 jobs. Construction employment increased by 26,000, wholesale trade added 19,000 jobs, and other industries added 36,000 jobs, largely in membership associations and organizations.

The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls in September is at $29.47, an estimated increase of two cents. The average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were also changed (+1 cent) at $24.79, a one-cent increase. 

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September 2020 Employment Summary

September 2020 Employment Summary

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