Delta Variant Stalls Service-Related Hiring; Rising Wages Pose New Challenges
- Health concerns slowed hiring last month. Job creation declined substantially in August as 235,000 positions were added, down from the 1.05 million personnel brought on in July.
- Hotels add fewer jobs as summer comes to a close. Up 16 percent so far this year, the leisure and hospitality sector did not grow in August.
- Industrial sector labor needs reflect current economic state. The addition of 40,000 messenger and warehousing jobs along with 11,000 air transportation positions have lifted the transportation and warehousing sector staff count to above the pre-pandemic level.
- Wage pressures mount in August. While the employment base remains 3.5 percent below the pre-pandemic level, elevated job openings signal a persistent labor shortage.
- Less hiring, higher pay complicate Fed outlook. The slowdown in hiring may prompt the Federal Reserve to delay updates to its current policies.