The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 1.4 million in August and that the unemployment rate fell to 8.4% from 10.2%. This suggests that the employment recovery from the unprecedented COVID-related drop in March and April continues to reverse course. Eleven million jobs have now been recovered during the May to August period. Nonetheless, the level of payrolls remains about 12 million below where it was in February.
The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 1.8 million in July and that the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%. This suggests that the employment recovery from the unprecedented COVID-related drop in March and April continues to reverse course, although the pace of recovery appears to be slowing. The 1.8 million job gain in July was less than the increases of 4.8 million in June and 2.7 million in May. Combined, 9.3 million jobs were generated in May, June and July, recouping some of the 22.2 million jobs lost in March and April. Nevertheless, the July level of employment was lower than its February level by 12.9 million positions or by 8.4%. While the July improvement is welcome news, the labor market continues to be strained and the recent spike in the virus across many states could hamper further gains. Indeed, some states are backtracking plans to reopen as coronavirus infections are rising again.
A lot of economic news today, much of which was not encouraging. First, the long-awaited first estimate of GDP growth in 2Q 2020 was released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and as anticipated the number was historic, with an annualized decline of 32.9% reported. Second, and for the second consecutive week, the number of initial claims filed for unemployment insurance rose. Third, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, encouraged Congress to act quickly to inject further fiscal stimulus into a weakening economic landscape.
Amid a pandemic of historic proportions, skilled nursing properties have borne some of the greatest challenges as they fight to care for the most vulnerable Americans, many of whom are frail and have multiple chronic healthcare conditions that require monitoring and medical attention. The skilled nursing industry responded quickly and aggressively by, acquiring sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) implementing strict protocols related to sanitation, visitation and move-ins, implementing accurate and timely testing of staff and residents, and by employing new technologies, such as telehealth, to help provide care. In the latest of NIC’s popular “Leadership Huddle” webinar series, held Thursday, July 9th, skilled nursing operators discussed how the sector has changed, and where skilled nursing properties stand as much of the country has re-opened.