September 4, 2020

August 2020 Jobs Report

Unemployment Rate: 8.4 percent

Jobs Created: 1.4 million

Employment and Unemployment        

  1. The Department of Labor bases monthly jobs reports on a survey of businesses and a survey of households. The survey data relate to the pay period or calendar week containing the 12th day of the month. The report generally will not reflect labor market changes near the end of the month.

  2. As of mid-August, a little more than half of the states had reopened or were continuing reopening plans, while the rest had paused their plans or imposed new restrictions on certain types of businesses to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

  3. DOL reported the unemployment rate fell 1.8 percentage points to 8.4% in August.

  4. Nonfarm jobs increased by 1.4 million in August.

  5. In June and July, the economy created fewer jobs than originally reported. The department revised the change in nonfarm jobs for those months down by a combined 39,000 jobs.     

  6. The U-6 unemployment rate, a broader measure that includes part-time and discouraged workers, fell 2.3 percentage points to 14.2% in August.

Labor Force Participation

  1. The labor force participation rate, the share of people employed or looking for work, rose 0.3 percentage point to 61.7%.


  1. In August, average hourly earnings for all employees in private nonfarm jobs rose by $0.11 to $29.47.

Issue Tags: Labor, COVID-19