Now Permanent Job Losses
September jobs report, six months after the pandemic hit the country, the US is now facing a wave of lingering unemployment. The Labor Department said 2.4 million workers laid off in March are still unemployed. This means they are now 27 weeks without work and long-term jobless. While its jobs report showed a decline in temporary layoffs, the permanent one increased. These are grim facts that can point to a long-drawn period of hardship for the American worker.
US Jobs Report: Recovery Running Out of Steam
The Labor Department’s September Job report is painting a grim picture. It said September generated 661,000 jobs, which is lower than expected. This is 139,000 jobs short of a Dow Jones survey estimate of 800,000. The unemployment rate fell to 7.9%, which is better than the expected 8.3% rate. The last time the unemployment dropped to this level, it was a month before elections in 2012.
Analysts attributed the shortfall in jobs to lesser government hiring. In particular, there is a large drop in hiring for census takers and school teachers. Census taking is an uneasy proposition as it involves house-to-house visits. Meanwhile, Americans preferred home study for kids instead of going back to school. 216,000 school jobs weren’t filled, while census workers lost 34,000 opportunities to work.
Workers reported as under temporary layoff numbered 4.6 million from 6.1 million last month. Workers holding part-time jobs for economic reasons fell to 6.3 million from 7.6 million. Permanent job losses increased by 345,000 to 3.8 million.
Boosted Unemployment Benefits
MarketWatch thinks that despite the positive reports, the economy is in danger. At present, the US economy depends on consumer spending. While high last summer, retail spending benefited from unemployment and stimulus relief measures. America’s CARES act provided $600 extra unemployment benefits. This led to personal income staying high despite a high unemployment rate.
By October, relief aid is gone. Congress tried but failed to enact a new round of stimulus relief. While politicians still hope to come up with a new aid package, time is running out. The elections are less than a month away, and nobody wants to help the other side. This is the dangerous part. Without a new round of stimulus, Americans will finally experience a true recession.
The pandemic beat most analysts’ expectations and continued unabated. Outbreaks are still reported all over the United States. Recently, the country reported its 7 millionth case and death toll exceeding 300,000. Unless a vaccine arrives, the coronavirus problem will continue until the end of the year. And with that comes disruptions in businesses and loss of jobs.
Businesses are still struggling to reopen
The economy only managed to get back half of the 22 million jobs lost from February until April. Businesses that depend on crowds are struggling, and are now laying off workers. These include restaurants, bars, theaters, entertainment centers, and sports facilities. Even major players are also feeling the crunch. Disney announced last week that it will cut 28,000 U.S. employees. Restaurant chains, retail stores, and hospitality services made thousands of long-term staff reductions. Airlines ran out of aid money and are now set to cut 50,000 jobs. Before September, thousands of workers retired or went into furlough.
More Stimulus Package
Businesses and workers are now starting to feel the loss of the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP allowed businesses to apply for forgivable loans as long as they use the money for payroll. Millions of workers who got axed during the pandemic were able to get their jobs back because of this. But as the PPP dried up, businesses are now laying off workers again.
A simple solution is to get our politicians working to give hard-working Americans the relief they deserve. A new round of stimulus aid can help tide things over while the government races to find a coronavirus solution. But with the elections nearing, it’ll be hard to get them to work on a compromise with their rivals. Unless they forego politics and think of Americans. A fully-approved coronavirus vaccine would be the ultimate game-changer. For everyone’s safety, we’ll have to wait until tests show that candidate vaccines are both safe and effective.
Watch this as CNBC reports that U.S. jobs rose by 661,000 in September, but the unemployment rate is at 7.9%:
Who’s gonna save American jobs? Stimulus efforts, or the vaccine? Or maybe something else. Do you have an idea? Let us know what you think by sharing your comments below!