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    US unemployment rate drops to 7.9% and more than 661,000 jobs are added in final monthly employment report before the election

    • The US economy added 661,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said on Friday 
    • With September’s hiring gain, the US economy has recovered slightly more than half the 22 million jobs that were wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic 
    • The unemployment rate for September fell to 7.9%, down from 8.4% in August 
    • Since April, the jobless rate has tumbled from a peak of 14.7%
    • Friday’s numbers offers voters a final look at the most important barometer of the US economy prior to the election 

    The US economy added 661,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.9 percent, according to the final monthly employment report before the election. 

    With September’s hiring gain, the US economy has recovered slightly more than half the 22 million jobs that were wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic. 

    The roughly 10 million jobs that remain lost exceed the number that the nation shed during the entire 2008-2009 Great Recession. 

    In the last monthly employment report before the November 3 presidential election, the Labor Department said on Friday that the unemployment rate for September fell to 7.9 percent, down from 8.4 percent in August.

    Since April, the jobless rate has tumbled from a peak of 14.7 percent.  

    In the last monthly employment report before the November 3 presidential election, the Labor Department said on Friday that the unemployment rate for September fell to 7.9 percent, down from 8.4 percent in August. Since April, the jobless rate has tumbled from a peak of 14.7 percent 

    The unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in September from 8.4 percent in August

    The unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in September from 8.4 percent in August

    Nonfarm payrolls increased by 661,000 jobs last month after advancing 1.489 million in August. 

    Economists had been predicting that 850,000 jobs were created in September. 

    Friday’s numbers offers voters a final look at the most important barometer of the US economy prior to the election – an election whose outcome was thrown into deeper uncertainty by the announcement that President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus.  

    The data is sure to become a political football in the race for the White House for which the economic blow from the pandemic has been a top issue.  

    For his part, Trump is likely to tout the fifth straight month of job gains and lower unemployment as a sign of progress for an economy that plunged into recession in February.

    September’s employment gains, however, are the smallest since the jobs recovery started in May, indicating slower growth heading into the fourth quarter.

    The September jobs report coincides with other data that suggests that while the economic picture may be improving, the gains have slowed since summer. 

    In the last monthly employment report before the November 3 presidential election, the Labor Department on Friday said nonfarm payrolls increased by 661,000 jobs last month after advancing 1.489 million in August

    In the last monthly employment report before the November 3 presidential election, the Labor Department on Friday said nonfarm payrolls increased by 661,000 jobs last month after advancing 1.489 million in August

    Friday's numbers offers voters a final look at the most important barometer of the US economy prior to the election - an election whose outcome was thrown into deeper uncertainty by the announcement that President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus

    Friday’s numbers offers voters a final look at the most important barometer of the US economy prior to the election – an election whose outcome was thrown into deeper uncertainty by the announcement that President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus

    The economy is under pressure from a range of threats, including the expiration of federal aid programs that had fueled rehiring and sustained the economy – from a $600-a-week benefit for the unemployed to $500 billion in forgivable short-term loans to small businesses. 

    A recent wave of layoffs by large companies has heightened fears that the viral outbreak still poses a serious threat to the economy.  

    Disney said this week that it’s cutting 28,000 jobs, a consequence of reduced customer traffic and capacity limits at Disney World in Florida and the ongoing closure of Disneyland in California.

    Allstate said it will shed 3,800 jobs, or 7.5 percent of its workforce. Marathon Petroleum, the Ohio refiner, is slashing 2,000 jobs. 

    Tens of thousands of airline workers are losing their jobs this month as federal aid to the airlines expires. The airlines had been barred from cutting jobs as long as they were receiving the government assistance.

    While congressional negotiations, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, continue, the prospect of a major new economic aid package before the November elections is highly uncertain.

    So far, US hiring has rebounded quickly compared with previous recessions. 

    The gains have mainly reflected millions of temporarily laid-off Americans who were called back to work when retailers, restaurants, medical offices and other businesses reopened, at least partly, from their pandemic-induced shutdowns. 

    Yet the number of people seeking unemployment aid, reflecting the pace of layoffs, remains unusually elevated, with 837,000 jobless claims filed last week. That’s about 35,000 lower than the previous week but still historically high. 

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