Another 1.4 million jobs were created in August and the unemployment rate drops into single digits.

JOB GROWTH: The ongoing easing of pandemic-fueled restrictions in the month of August led to the creation of 1.4 million new jobs. 

TOP INDUSTRIES: An influx of nearly 350,000 temporary census workers hired by the federal government spurred job growth in August. Other sectors showing positive (and possibly more permanent) momentum included retail, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.

UNEMPLOYMENT: For the first time in four months, the unemployment rate moved out of double-digit territory, dropping nearly two percentage points from 10.2% to 8.4%. The ranks of the unemployed fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million people.

WAGES: Average hourly earnings rose by 11 cents per hour in August. 

WORK WEEK: The length of the average work week increased slightly in August to 34.6 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: Strong growth trends continued in the temporary help sector, which saw a gain of 107,000 jobs in August.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? The August jobs report showed us that more Americans are back to work. Economic activity is outpacing expectations in terms of timing, but the current situation still leaves many people struggling. Some of the issues impacting job growth are the fact that many retail, leisure and other entertainment businesses remain shuttered due to the pandemic. At the same time, concerns about the safety of reopening schools for in-classroom learning hold back millions of parents who cannot return to work outside the home. To address the uncertainty, a growing number of employers continue to embrace virtual work environments and are relying on contingent workers to help them meet increasing demand for products and services. Both are strategies that offer substantial flexibility to the workforce as market demands shift.  

To learn more about either strategy, reach out to your local Spherion office. Our local experts will help you navigate this evolving landscape. 

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNN, Staffing Industry Analysts, CNBC, The Washington Post, 24/7 Wall St., CBS News, Bankrate, The New York Times, C-SPAN, FOX Business