Jobs Added to U.S. Economy in September Show Signs of Hope and Hesitancy: CEI Analysis

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The U.S. economy added 194,000 jobs added in September, and unemployment dipped. CEI experts Ryan Young and Sean Higgins say this is encouraging because it shows that people are eager to reopen the economy further.

Statement from Senior Fellow Ryan Young:

“By this point, it’s pretty darn clear that the biggest factor in the economic recovery is COVID safety. People want to open back up, and when they feel it’s safe, they are. Unemployment is now back below 5 percent, even without any fresh stimulus spending from Congress. The spending bills Congress is currently debating are political wish lists that have little to do with the COVID recovery. Whether one supports them or not, they should be treated as such.

“The delta variant continues to provide a note of caution going forward, as do continuing vaccine hesitancy and the possibility of new COVID variants. But there is also good news. The FDA will likely approve the vaccine for children. People are getting booster shots when appropriate. And Merck has developed a COVID pill that could provide additional protection and free up hospital beds. The sooner the FDA cuts the red tape that is getting between sick people and life-saving treatments, the faster both the economy and public health will benefit. This is particularly the case for getting older Americans back in to the workforce. They are the people who often fill the jobs most in need of filling, such as school bus drivers.”

Statement from Research Fellow Sean Higgins:

“The Labor Department reported that the number of unemployed people fell by 710,000 in September but that only 194,000 new non-farm jobs were created. So while the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, down four-tenths of a percent, that decline has more to do with people dropping out of the workforce than getting jobs.  

“The recovery continues to be slow and some people are giving up in frustration. The Labor Department reported that 1.6 million persons said they were prevented from looking for work in September due to the pandemic, a figure that remained essentially same as the prior month. The best way to let the economy recover remains to simply let business open and get back to hiring.”