Economy adds 661K jobs in final jobs report before Election Day
By Sylvan Lane - 10/02/20 08:30 AM EDT
The U.S. gained 661,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department reported Friday in the final jobs report before Election Day.
The unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in September as the U.S. posted its fifth consecutive month of job gains after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic triggered the deepest and quickest economic contraction since the Great Depression.
Even so, the report came in well below the projections of economists and contained several red flags about the strength of the recovery from the coronavirus recession.
Economists had expected the U.S. to gain roughly 800,000 jobs in September to push the unemployment rate down to roughly 8.2 percent. While the unemployment rate fell below that level, the labor force participation rateâ€”the percentage of potential workers seeking jobsâ€”fell 0.3 percent, indicating declining confidence in the ability to find a job.
Permanent job losses also increased for the second consecutive month, rising by 345,000 to 3.8 million.