COVID-19 Still Blocking Economic Recovery

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – September saw a slowdown in hiring in the United States, although signs of asking for help are not abating. The country created 194,000 jobs in September, the lowest number since December, when the country lost jobs. University of Toledo economist Dr Kevin Egan says COVID-19 continues to dampen the economy.

“This is a tragic situation we find ourselves in and it will take some time for everything to work out,” Egan said.

The unemployment rate fell from 0.4% to 4.8% in September, which, according to Egal, indicates that people who want to work are successful in finding jobs.

But the size of the U.S. workforce is still much smaller than pre-pandemic levels.

“This lower unemployment rate is great,” Egan said. “We want it to be as low as possible. We want people who are looking for work to find a job. But the problem now is the people who are not looking for work. We are in a situation where companies want to hire people and we don’t have enough workers who want to work.

The number of unemployed people fell in September to 7.7 million, still two million more than before COVID-19 shut down the U.S. economy.

Many industries have experienced only modest employment growth, but public education has seen a decline. Women also lost 26,000 jobs in September while men gained 220,000.

Egan said the September report signaled a shift in the U.S. workforce, with people re-evaluating their career choices and work-life balance. Some may wait to return to the workforce until COVID-19 is under control or they may find a job that matches their newly discovered lifestyle.

“We are in a period of transition where the pay for different jobs will change and the flexibility will change,” Egan said.

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