The latest U.S. jobs report is another big disappointment.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 194,000 jobs in September, below economists' expectations that around 500,000 jobs would be added, CNBC reports. The unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage points to 4.8 percent. "Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in retail trade, and in transportation and warehousing," the Labor Department said.
This comes after the U.S. jobs report for August also came in significantly under expectations. The Labor Department said last month that 235,000 jobs were added in August when economists had expected around 720,000, though this number was revised on Friday to 366,000. Both reports came amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States driven by the more contagious Delta variant.
Ahead of the newest report's release, Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao wrote that "many economists had hoped that September school reopenings would unlock parents to return to the workforce" but that "the resurgence of the pandemic seems to have dashed those hopes." Still, the Times notes that the latest report was based on data collected in the middle of September and that COVID-19 cases have started to decline since then, so Zhao observed that it's a "glimpse in the rearview mirror" and that there's "still a case for optimism in the coming months."