The September jobs report did not reveal things that economists, including Betsey Stevenson, were hoping to see.
"If you look at this report, it’s very clear that it’s delta that’s holding it back. We saw the highest number of people working part-time because they were too sick to work full-time since April," she in an interview with Yahoo! Finance. "We saw 1.53 million people out of work during the reference week because they were too sick to work. We saw a surge in the number of people who weren’t able to work because there was a closure in their industry due to COVID."
Stevenson explained what these numbers meant for workers.
"The big news out of the jobs report was the delta variant slowed things down. That disproportionately hit lower-wage workers," she told The Washington Post. "But people are also thinking they can afford to wait for a better job — or a safe job — to come along."
The report points to one solution for Stevenson.
"The answer keeps being the same thing," she said. "You have to get the virus under control in order to get the employment up there."
In the last few weeks, more workers have returned.
"They’re more comfortable going back to jobs because now there’s a vaccine mandate, or there’s not as many cases in their community," she told Marketplace. “It could be that employers are getting a little bit better with the offers that they’re giving workers.”
Read and watch the news items featuring Stevenson below:
- America’s unemployed are sending a message: They’ll go back to work when they feel safe – and well-compensated, The Washington Post, October 8, 2021
- It is concerning that the number of women returning to the workforce is slowing: expert, Yahoo! Finance, October 11, 2021
- While still a long way from pre-pandemic days, the job market’s making progress, Marketplace, October 14, 2021