White House Responds to August Jobs Report

The August Jobs Report released last week found the U.S. economy created 315,000 jobs last month. The report also showed working-age women are back at work at rates not seen since before the pandemic. Jared Bernstein, member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, explains where the growth was.

“In most sectors, we added jobs last month. One sector I pay a lot of attention to is manufacturing, there were about 22,000 jobs added in the sector last month. But more importantly, it remains on a strong trend. In fact, manufacturing employment is growing faster in this expansion than any of the past five, so well over 50 years. Retail trade is another really interesting sector. I’m not talking about the warehouses and the Amazons of the world, I’m actually talking about brick and mortar. Retail trade continues to deliver job gains. Professional services, including people going back to the office, we’re seeing some of that. And then very importantly, recently, we’ve seen a turnaround in some healthcare employment.”

While the number of jobs created increased, the unemployment rate also increased to 3.7 percent. However, there is much concern regarding labor challenges, including in agriculture.

“One of the problems we’ve been having that’s behind the conversation you were just describing is employers not being able to find the workers they need. We have 11 million vacancies right now. That’s way more than we have unemployed people, and the tick up last month in unemployment came from a very welcomed source, actually, the labor force increased, you just mentioned that earlier for women, but we got a nice pop, a nice bump, three tenths of a percent in labor force participation. Now look, we never lean too far into one month, you want to see a real trend there, and the labor force has been growing. What we saw last month was hundreds of 1,000s of people moving from out of the job market to into the job market. Now when we have this many vacancies and this type of job market, that matching function you just mentioned, matching people up with the jobs, that’s going to start accelerating because you have more people looking for those jobs.”

That’s Jared Bernstein, member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

Story and audio provided by NAFB News Service and Brent Adams, Rural Strong Media, Charlestown, Indiana