The US percentage fell sharply in August, as some firms began to rent new staff again and temporary hiring for the US census boosted job numbers.
Firms added 1.4 million new jobs and unemployment fell below 10% for the primary time since the pandemic began.
It is the fourth month during a row that America’s jobs picture has improved because the economy begins to rebound from the depths of the coronavirus recession.
However, the unemployment rate is still much higher than it was in February.
In April, when many US states issued occupy home orders, the percentage peaked at 14.7%.
However, there are fears that the recovery within the labor market isn’t sustainable.
The pace of job growth is slowing. Stimulus payments and help for little businesses are exhausted. And negotiations between the White House and Congress over more stimulus remain stalled.
Senior economic adviser at Federated Hermes, Neil Williams, said the unemployment figures were becoming ‘”less awful” as furloughed workers return to firms.
“But, albeit jobs still be clawed back at this pace, it might take another nine months for the 12 million workers displaced since February to return.
“The ‘under-employment’ rate, which incorporates those not searching, but eager to work or work more, still over 14%, could also be even slower to fall. And as we all know from 2007-09, rapid job losses don’t guarantee the sharpest recoveries.,” he added.
Worse to come?
The figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday also showed average hourly earnings increased 0.4%, also before expectations.
However, Ian Shepherdson the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says the August data may be skewed by government hiring of temporary census workers and “the worst may come in September”.
“Private sector job growth in August was the slowest since the recovery began in May.
“At the August pace, it might take 10 months for personal sector employment just to return to its February level,” Mr Shepherdson said.