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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Economy Sputters in August, Jobs Report Falls Far Short of Expectations

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A sign advertising job openings is seen as a man exits a FedEx branch in New York, N.Y., August 6, 2021. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

The U.S. economy added about 235,000 new jobs in August according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics released on Friday, falling far short of economists’ expectations of around 728,000 new jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.2 percent in August from 5.4 percent in July, the Bureau said.

The disappointing August jobs report comes after extensive employment gains in the previous two months. Employers added a million jobs in July and 962,000 in June, according to revised official estimates.

Areas that saw job gains in August include manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and private education. Leisure and hospitality jobs remained unchanged, the Bureau said, although restaurants lost 42,000 jobs over the past month.

Continued spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus has hindered some economic growth, economists told the Wall Street Journal.

Overall, around 5.3 million fewer people were employed as of August than in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread business shutdowns.

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