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Special Report

Employment Research Brief

September 2021

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. Job losses in many high-contact service roles contributed to the decrease, reflecting the negative impact of rising COVID-19 infections. Facing greater health risks, some individuals opted not to apply for such roles. Many employers have also imposed vaccine mandates, adding new steps to the hiring process. Growth is expected to pick up in September, however. Most schools will be fully in session, and federal supports relating to unemployment and eviction protection will have ceased, prompting households that had been waiting to now rejoin the labor market.

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