America’s unemployment rate continues to drop, signaling a quick economic rebound as we head into the fall. Despite conservative predictions that we would see a gradual recovery, the latest jobs report blows experts’ predictions out of the water.
On Friday, the Labor Department said in the August jobs report that the US added 1.37 million jobs last month. This surpasses analysts’ expectations of a smaller August gain of around 1.2 million jobs.
Most significantly, the unemployment rate declined to 8.4% from 10.2% in July, which marks the first time unemployment has dropped below 10% since March.
This is a massive improvement after unemployment neared all-time highs at 14.7% in April in the worst jobs report since the Great Depression.
According to Robert Frick, a corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, in a statement to Business Insider, “Unemployment breaking the 10% barrier so decisively is a big psychological lift.”
The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans who have been unemployed for less than 14 weeks declined as well. It’s also notable that labor force participation improved by 0.3%, meaning the job market is strengthening as Americans continue looking for work.
This unemployment report marks the fourth consecutive month of job gains since the economy began reopening in the beginning of the summer.
President Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the economy’s fast rebound, “Great Jobs Numbers! 1.37 Million Jobs Added In August. Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.4% (Wow, much better than expected!). Broke the 10% level faster and deeper than thought possible,” he wrote.
Great Jobs Numbers! 1.37 Million Jobs Added In August. Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.4% (Wow, much better than expected!). Broke the 10% level faster and deeper than thought possible.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020
Although the job gains validate Trump’s promise to Americans that he can and will rebuild the economy, investors are not as optimistic.
Despite a positive report that beat out expectations, the stock market did not respond well. The Hill reported the Dow Jones dropped 2.8 percent, the S&P lost 3.5 percent, and the Nasdaq composite plunged 5 percent.
However, jobs will likely come swarming back as the Trump administration continues ramping up reopening efforts and preparing for a vaccine. The CDC is reportedly urging states to have vaccine sites ready to go for November 1st in anticipation of an earlier-than-expected distribution date.
Hopefully, a widely available vaccine encourages businesses to fully reopen and rehire their workers, leading to a booming economy by the end of the year.