But the recovery did not happen, with employers adding just 194,000 jobs last month. On a positive note, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.2%, although part of this decline occurred because many unemployed people stopped looking for work and were not. no longer counted as unemployed. The proportion of women working or looking for work fell in September, likely due to difficulties finding child care centers or because of schools disrupted by the Covid-19 epidemics.
At the same time, Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers, with around 3% of workers leaving in August. Workers were particularly likely to quit their jobs in restaurants, bars and hotels, possibly spurred by fear of the delta variant of Covid-19, which was still spreading rapidly in August.
Other workers likely quit to take advantage of the higher wages offered by companies offering vacancies. Average hourly wages rose 4.6 percent in September from the previous year, and for restaurant workers, wage gains over the past year exceeded 10 percent.
The number of people who continue to receive unemployment assistance has also fallen sharply, mainly following the end of two emergency unemployment assistance programs. In the week ending September 25, the latest data available, 3.6 million people received some sort of unemployment assistance, down sharply from 4.2 million the week before. A year ago, nearly 25 million people were receiving benefits.
Emergency programs provided unemployment benefits for the first time to self-employed and concert workers, as well as those who had not worked for more than six months. More than 7 million Americans lost their weekly financial support when these two programs expired on September 6. Additional federal unemployment assistance of $ 300 also expired that week.
Many Republican business leaders and politicians have said the extra $ 300 discourages unemployed people from taking jobs. Yet in about half of the states, the additional controls were removed as early as mid-June, and those states did not experience faster job growth than the states that retained the benefits.