The numbers look good….
But they mask the fact that a LOT of other things are going on that ain’t so rosey…..
Employers continued to bring back furloughed workers last month, but at a far slower pace than in the spring, and millions of Americans remain out of work.
The U.S. economy added 1.4 million jobs in August, the Labor Department said Friday, down from 1.7 million in July and down sharply from the 4.8 million added in June. Payrolls are still more than 11 million jobs below their pre-pandemic level.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, down significantly from 14.7 percent in April and 10.2 percent in July. The drop brings the rate below the peak of the last recession a decade ago, when unemployment briefly hit 10 percent, but joblessness is still higher than the peak of many past recessions.
“We still have a long way to go,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist for S&P Global….
The report on Friday provides some of the first clear data on the state of the economy as emergency federal spending winds down, including a $600 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits that helped keep many households afloat early in the pandemic. Economists warn that without that supplement, which expired at the end of July, millions of families will struggle to pay rent and buy food, reining in the broader economy.
But because the August jobs data was collected early in the month, it may not reflect the full impact of the loss of benefits, economists warn. That quirk of the calendar could have political ramifications: The relatively solid jobs report could ease pressure on Congress to agree on a new round of emergency spending.
Economists warn that would set the stage for a big drop in spending in the fall, leading to more job losses and a wave of small-business failures. Already, major corporations such as American Airlines have announced they are laying off more workers or, as in the case of the department store stalwart Lord & Taylor, going out of business entirely.
“I am more concerned about where the economy is now than I was in April,” said Martha Gimbel, an economist and labor market expert at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative. “In April, it was fixable. We’re just letting the scars build up now.”…