The jobs report for August was a major disappointment, and it underscores the paradox of the labor market during the Biden Administration: Employers are desperate for workers and paying them more, but too few workers are coming off the sidelines to take available jobs.
That was certainly true in August, as the Labor Department reported only 235,000 net new jobs, well below the consensus forecast by economists of 733,000. Covid’s Delta variant was a major culprit, as retail lost 28,500 jobs and there was no gain in leisure and hospitality. The economic opening that dominated the last few months has clearly slowed as people are traveling and eating out less. Liberation summer has been a disappointment.