Jobless rate drops slightly to 5.2% nationwide
The economy added 235,000 jobs in the month of August, which resulted in a .2% drop in the jobless rate to 5.2% nationwide. However, the total number of jobs added was far fewer than expected.
Zions Bank Senior Economist Robert Spendlove told Utah’s Morning News on KSL NewsRadio the most pessimistic preview had the economy adding at least 350,000 jobs, so 235,000 was disappointing.
“I think what this reflects is this really tightening labor market, we’ve got 10 million job openings in the country right now,” Spendlove said Friday. “And so there just aren’t enough jobs, and there aren’t enough people coming back into the labor force. When we look at that participation rate, you know, kind of that — the rate of people that are engaging in the labor force — stayed constant. So we’re not pulling more people off the sidelines and back into jobs.”
Delta variant impact on jobless rate
The Wall Street Journal reported two possible reasons for the slowed hiring: businesses potentially holding back on new hires as a result of the trending virus case counts, and jobless people concerned about health risks finding themselves more reluctant to return to the workforce.
Spendlove expects more uncertainty in the near future for the jobless rate.
“This is kind of the theme of the pandemic, is there’s just more uncertainty,” he said. “It’s really hard to know what to expect when we’ve got these new variants coming out. We’ve got these labor shortages. I expect — the economy is still fundamentally strong, but we are entering a period of more weakness.”
Listen to the full interview below.
Today’s Top Stories
- Two employees found unconscious at Northrop Grumman, died later at hospital
- One person killed in wrong-way collision on I-15 near Beck Street
- Tom Brady announces retirement: ‘I’m retiring for good’
- Cold weather causes late start for Logan City School District Wednesday
- Potential redesign of new Utah State Flag emphasizes Native American tribes
- Correctional officer assaulted at Utah State Correctional Facility
- Herd of elk pushed away from I-80 and moved back into mountains
- When it’s this cold, keep your pipes from freezing. Here’s how.
- Bill would require parental permission for Utah teens to use social media
- Nikki Haley expected to announce presidential run in Charleston on Feb. 15