The September Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report released last week was anticlimactic, to say the least. Just 194,000 jobs were added, significantly fewer than the 500,000 jobs economists predicted. On the back of the 366,000 jobs added in August, it’s a clear indication that things aren’t getting “back to normal” anytime soon. Even as we’ve seen a decline in COVID cases nationwide, we will still be grappling with the effects of the pandemic for quite some time, and that includes continued challenges in hiring.
The unemployment rate did fall to 4.8% from 5.2% in August, but that was partly due to individuals leaving the labor force — largely due to the shifting needs and priorities of the modern workforce. For many people, taking a low-paying job with little flexibility just doesn’t make sense financially or given the needs of their families. There are 11 million jobs still open, and just under eight million people remain unemployed. So even if every American looking for work found a job, we’d still have around three million open positions. That’s a hard reality to face, but it’s important to note that an unemployment rate below 5% after the deepest recession in modern times is