September slowdown in hiring likely as cases climb and financial aid faded | News

Subscribe for $3 for 3 months FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2020, file photo, clients line up outside the Mississippi Department of Employment Security WIN Job Center in Pearl, Miss. A critical snapshot of the job market and the economy to be released Friday, Oct. 2, is expected to […]

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AP Explains: 5 key takeaways from the September jobs report

FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2020, file photo, clients line up outside the Mississippi Department of Employment Security WIN Job Center in Pearl, Miss. A critical snapshot of the job market and the economy to be released Friday, Oct. 2, is expected to show a further deceleration in hiring as the nation’s viral caseload creeps higher just as financial aid from the government has faded. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)




WASHINGTON (AP) — A critical snapshot of the job market and the economy to be released Friday is expected to show a further slowdown in hiring as the nation’s viral caseload creeps higher and as government financial aid has faded.

When the Labor Department issues its September jobs report, economists predict it will show a gain of 850,000, according to a survey by data provider FactSet. That would mark a third straight monthly slowdown, after June’s 4.8 million job gain, July’s 1.7 million and August’s 1.4 million.

If the forecast for September proves accurate, it would mean that the economy has regained only slightly more than half the 22 million jobs that vanished when the pandemic flattened the economy in early spring. Should job gains continue to remain below 1 million a month, it would take until late 2021 or 2022 to recoup them all.

This will be the last jobs monthly report before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3. Polls consistently show that the economy is a key issue for voters.

So far, hiring has rebounded quickly compared with previous recessions. The gains have mainly reflected millions of temporarily laid-off Americans who were called back to work when retailers, restaurants, medical offices and other businesses reopened, at least partly, from their pandemic-induced shutdowns.

But slowing job growth has raised the specter of a prolonged downturn that feeds on itself and becomes harder to fully reverse. Many temporary layoffs are becoming permanent as hotels, restaurants, airlines, retailers, entertainment venues and other employers anticipate a longer slump than they initially expected. There is also growing fear of a resurgence of the virus, which would compound the threat.

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