America’s economic recovery stuttered last month, with a sharp slowdown in jobs growth that cast doubt on whether the Federal Reserve will start paring back its economic support this year.
Only 235,000 jobs were added in August, far shy of the 750,000 forecast by economists, as the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 across the United States prompted businesses to batten down the hatches.
The reading, as the country grappled with a new wave of infections, amounted to the weakest employment growth for seven months. In July, just over a million jobs were added.
The leisure and hospitality sectors, largely closed last year after the onset of the pandemic, had recruited an average of 350,000 workers during each of the previous six months.