President Donald Trump boasted about the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that found employers added 1.4 million jobs in August. However, the president did not mention that the report also points out the United States has lost 11.5 million jobs since February.
“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,” the president wrote earlier this morning.
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 national unemployment rate did fall to 8.4 percent (from 10.2 percent in July), permanent job losses increased to 3.4 million. As CNN pointed out, “the unemployment rate didn’t improve evenly across different groups. The White unemployment rate is only 7.3%, while it remains above 10% for Black, Hispanic and Asian workers. The Black unemployment rate is the highest at 13%.”
Moreover, although both the retail sector and the federal government added 250,000 jobs apiece, 238,000 of these federal jobs are temporary ones for the 2020 Census. These people would be out of work once the Census concludes, contributing to another increase in unemployment numbers.
“More people with more jobs is something to celebrate, but we need to be concerned about how sustainable these gains will be,” Nick Bunker, economic research director for the Indeed Hiring Lab, told CNN.
The government also faces the prospect of a shutdown if Democrats and Republicans don’t reach a deal on coronavirus relief by the end of September. The White House wants a stopgap measure to keep the government running until mid-December; this would require Senate Republicans to approve a bill for President Trump to sign. Stimulus negotiations fell apart last month and will resume in the coming week.