August Real Unemployment Rate 2020

August delivered a fourth consecutive month of huge job gains. As nice as that would be anyway, it continues the trend we've seen as lockdowns have eased during the pandemic. Give businesses room to breathe and operate and they’ll make the most of the opportunity. The relevance of the August progress can’t be understated. It was a true test of whether the job gains from the prior to months had run their course or whether American free enterprise would be able to overcome an only somewhat free environment with which to operate. Thankfully perseverance prevailed. 

As I do monthly, lets break down the facts starting with the real unemployment rate. Let's start with the headline numbers. The unemployment rate was 8.4%, that's an improvement of 1.8%. We added over 1.4 million jobs and the negative revisions from previous months totaled to 39,000 jobs. The industries for biggest jobs recoveries included the Government with most of it being Census workers, retail, and professional and business services. However, it didn’t stop with those industries. Also noteworthy are the 29,000 manufacturing jobs added during the month, an acceleration from July. 

Now for the real unemployment rate once underemployed, long-term unemployed and marginally attached people are accounted for. The actual number is 14.3%, an improvement of 2.5% over July.

Some of the key takeaways include a continued room for optimism and the possibility of a rapid recovery for much of the economy. Also, the real unemployment rate improved by even more than the base reported rate, which is the best possible news and Labor Force Participation improved to the best level since March.

Photo by: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

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