© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Construction workers line up to take a temperature test to return to the job site
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US job growth likely accelerated in February as more service companies reopened amid falling new COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates accelerated and the Additional money from the government to help the pandemic, resetting the ongoing labor market recovery for more profits in the coming months. However, Friday’s employment report, which the Labor Department followed closely, will also offer a reminder that as the United States enters the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, recovery remains excruciatingly slow, with millions of Americans experiencing long periods of unemployment and permanent unemployment. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday offered an optimistic view of the job market, but warned that a return to full employment this year was “highly unlikely.” “We will probably see more people are back on their payrolls,” said Sung Won Sohn, a finance and economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “Many will be related to service jobs, but that will not mean a rapid increase in jobs. It is slow progress towards an eventual full recovery.” Nonfarm payrolls likely jumped 182,000 jobs last month after rising just 49,000 in January, according to a Reuters poll of economists. Payrolls fell in December for the first time in eight months. Economists saw no impact from the mid-February deep freeze in the densely populated south as winter storms struck after the week during which the government surveyed establishments and businesses for the employment report. But last month’s unusually cold weather, especially in the Northeast, and production cuts at auto assembly plants due to a global semiconductor chip shortage likely shortened the average work week. The labor market has been slow to respond to the drop in daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, helping fuel an increase in consumer spending in January that prompted economists to dramatically improve their estimates of gross domestic product growth. for the first trimester. Historically, employment lags behind GDP growth by about a quarter. But economists believe the recovery began in February, a year after the economy went into recession at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US A survey last week showed that consumer perceptions of the market Labor prices improved in February after deteriorating in January and December. Additionally, a measure of manufacturing employment rose to a two-year high in February. Although millions are unemployed, companies are struggling to find workers, which is helping to slow job growth. A survey on Wednesday showed that job growth in the service industry slowed last month, with companies reporting that they were “unable to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates.” That was underscored by an NFIB survey on Thursday that showed 91% of small businesses that tried to hire in February reported few or no qualified applicants for their vacant positions. WORKER SHORTAGE This labor market dichotomy is due to the pandemic keeping some workers at home, fearful of accepting or returning to jobs that could expose them to the virus. It has also disproportionately affected women who have been forced to leave the workforce to care for children, as many schools remain closed for in-person learning. According to data from the Census Bureau, around 10 million mothers living with their own school-age children were not actively working in January, 1.4 million more than during the same month of 2020. The Beige Book report of the The Fed showed Wednesday that there are a shortage of workers in both skilled and low-skilled commercial occupations. Vacancies are primarily in high-growth industries that have done well during the pandemic, such as information technology, engineering, construction, customer service, manufacturing, and accounting and finance. “Job seekers are more reluctant to pursue many of the in-demand roles required to be on site, particularly in industries such as manufacturing, which have seen double-digit increases in job roles such as assemblers and warehouse managers.” said Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad. North America. The virus has greatly altered the economic outlook and many of the lost jobs in the service industry are likely not to return. Although the unemployment rate has fallen below 10%, it has been underestimated by people who are wrongly classified as “employed but absent from work.” It is expected to have remained stable at 6.3% in February. Just over 4 million Americans had been unemployed for more than six months in January, while 3.5 million were permanently unemployed. Given the difficulties of conversion, structural unemployment could represent a higher proportion of unemployment in the near future. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Economists believe the labor market will pick up steam in the spring and summer, with vaccines increasing daily, even though the pace of decline in COVID-19 infections has recently stabilized. A hiring boost is also expected from President Joe Biden‘s $ 1.9 billion recovery plan, which is being considered by Congress. “The workforce will begin a significant recovery in mid-2021 as the extensive distribution of vaccines will boost herd immunity, reducing health problems and enabling a more complete recovery for some worst hit industries,” said Ryan Sweet, economist Moody’s senior. (NYSE 🙂 Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.