The real unemployment rate – September 2020

The real unemployment rate – September 2020

Bottom Line: August delivered a fourth consecutive month of huge job gains. As nice as that would be anyway, it continues the trend we've seen as lockdowns have eased during the pandemic. Give businesses room to breathe and operate and they’ll make the most of the opportunity. The relevance of the August progress can’t be understated. It was a true test of whether the job gains from the prior to months had run their course or whether American free enterprise would be able to overcome an only somewhat free environment with which to operate. Thankfully perseverance prevailed. As I do monthly, lets break down the facts starting with the real unemployment rate.

First, the headline numbers:

  • Unemployment rate 8.4% (Improvement of 1.8%)
  • +1.4 million jobs
  • Negative revisions from previous months totaling 39,000 jobs

Industries for biggest jobs recoveries:

  • #1 Government (most Census workers)
  • #2 Retail
  • #3 Professional and business services

It didn’t stop with those industries. Also noteworthy are the 29,000 manufacturing jobs added during the month, an acceleration from July. Now for the real unemployment rate once underemployed, long-term unemployed and marginally attached people are accounted for:

  • Actual: 14.3%, an improvement of 2.5% over July

Key takeaways:

  • There’s continued room for optimism and the possibility of a rapid recovery for much of the economy
  • The real unemployment rate improved by even more than the base reported rate – which is the best possible news
  • Labor Force Participation improved to the best level since March

Next up, the demographics of the unemployed in part two.

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