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Unemployment spikes in August

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on April 8, 2021. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
September 01, 2023

The unemployment rate in the United States spiked last month, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released on Friday.

In August, the unemployment rate jumped to 3.8 percent, BLS data showed.

“Employment continued to trend up in health care, leisure and hospitality, social assistance, and construction. Employment in transportation and warehousing declined,” the bureau’s report stated.

The spike comes after economists predicted unemployment would remain the same, according to Reuters.  

“An increasing number of surveys show firms are reducing hiring, removing unfilled job postings, and eliminating positions after separations (quits or firings),” E.J. Antoni of the Heritage Foundation’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget told the Daily Caller.

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“With the big drop in the most recent month’s job openings and the downward revisions, it’s now clear that we’re below the pre-pandemic trend. While the labor market is a lagging indicator, it’s clear that this is yet another sign of an economic slowdown,” Antoni added.

On Friday, President Joe Biden praised the economy during a speech at the White House before ignoring a reporter’s question about Americans who are struggling amid high inflation and the high cost-of-living.

Biden turned his back on a reporter who asked, “Why are so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck?”

Bloomberg reported that a rising number of low-income Americans are struggling to pay rent and afford food, with many falling behind on bills related to basic living necessities.

For households using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, nearly half skipped meals last month or ate less because food was too expensive.

“We came to office determined to build the economy in a different way, from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down,” Biden said during his speech on Friday.