The jobs recovery continued in September, with another 661,000 net new jobs. Government jobs fell as fewer Census takers were needed, and layoffs of school support staff occurred as many courses have gone online. The private sector added 877,000 jobs, and the overall unemployment rate fell to 7.9%. Another 9 million job additions are needed to match the pre-pandemic employment conditions when the unemployment rate was 3.5%.
It is worth noting the vast divergence that has developed among states. Five states have unemployment rates below 5%: Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont. But states with a stricter and longer lockdown, or heavily dependent on tourism, have unemployment rates above 10%, such as New York, California, Illinois, Nevada, and Hawaii.Let’s hope for some additional stimulus measures to get the economy moving faster.