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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

October 02, 2020

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that US non-farm payroll employment increased by 0.7 million from August to September 2020, following increases of larger magnitude in the previous four consecutive months.

The US unemployment rate has fallen 0.5 percentage points to 7.9 per cent. These improvements in the labor market reflected a continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the COVID-19 and efforts to contain it.

The US employment fell by 22.2 million in March and April combined. Despite the monthly increase, nonfarm employment in September was 7.0 per cent (10.7 million) below its February level. The strongest employment increases occurred in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and professional and business services in September 2020. Employment declined in state and local government education.

The US unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage points to 7.9 per cent in September 2020. US unemployment decreased by 1.0 million to 12.6 million in September 2020. Although unemployment decreased for five consecutive months, the US unemployment rate increased by 4.4 percentage points and the number of unemployed persons increased by 6.8 million since February 2020 due to COVID-19 and efforts to contain it.

The US participation rate decreased 0.3 percentage point to 61.4 per cent of the working age population in September but is 2.0 percentage points below its February level.

The US employment to population ratio was slightly up by 0.1 percentage point to 56.6 per cent in September but 4.5 percentage points lower than its February level.

The reference week for the US household survey was September 6th through September 12th. 

Note: Canadian and US labour force statistics refer to different working-age cohorts.


US Bureau of Labor Statistics news releaseCommissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation

Statistics Canada.  Table  14-10-0287-01   Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle

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