The U.S. labor-market rebound extended for a fourth month in August, offering hope that the economy can continue to recover despite a persistent pandemic and Washington’s standoff over further government aid to jobless Americans and small businesses.
Non-farm payrolls increased by 1.37 million, including the hiring of 238,000 temporary Census workers, according to a Labor Department report Friday. The unemployment rate fell by more than expected, by almost 2 percentage points, to 8.4%.
Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose after the report, while U.S. stock futures reversed losses and the dollar fluctuated.
The median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1.35 million gain in non-farm payrolls and an unemployment rate of 9.8%.
The data signal progress in the labor market is continuing though at a more moderate pace since the initial bounce back in hiring, with payrolls remaining about 11.5 million below the pre-pandemic level. The pace of further gains likely hinges on whether America improves control of coronavirus infections, as well as an end to the stalemate in Congress over another stimulus package.