The BLS Employment Situation Report for August showed that the US job market continued to recover from the impact of the COVID19 pandemic with the unemployment rate for August, as measured in the household survey, declining by 1.8 percentage points to reach 8.4%, which is still above by 4.9 percentage points over its pre-crisis level but much better than the Consensus estimate of 9.8%. The number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million. For its part, the establishment survey showed that 1.4 million non farm payrolls were added during the month bringing the number of total employed persons in the United States to 147.4 million of which 122.4 million were full time employed and 25.0 million were part time employed. However out of these 1.4 million additional recorded payrolls, employment in government increased by 344,000 in August, accounting for one quarter of the monthly gain and reflecting the hiring of 238,000 temporary 2020 Census workers. The US labor market is going through a fork-shaped recovery with two very distinct legs as we explain in this analysis.
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