August 2020 Economic Report

by Zac Reinke

The August 2020 Economic Report continues to show the effects of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy. Although the unemployment rate has declined and payroll employment has increased, the economy still has much to improve to match pre-coronavirus levels.

The information for this report was developed using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Yahoo Finance, and Below the report, check out the Amtec Tip of the Month about interview questions you can’t ask.

August 2020 Economic Report

Amtec Tip of the Month

Navigating the dos and don’ts of interview questions can be like walking through a minefield. Although you undoubtedly know not to ask about a person’s race or religion, you may be surprised at some of the questions the EEOC says you’re not allowed to ask! Here are a few of them:

  • Are you disabled in any way? Do you have any medical conditions we should know about? Pre-employment, you are allowed to inquire into an applicant’s ability to perform job-related functions. For example, you can describe the various functions of the job and ask, “Can you perform the functions of the job for which you’re applying?”
  • Why were you discharged from the military? How often do you do reserve duty? You also may not request military service records. However, you may question applicants about their experience in the military if it applies to your position.
  • Do you own or rent your house? A person’s economic status is protected. If you’re concerned about their distance from where your business is located, it’s better to ask if the applicant is able to relocate, and if so, how soon.

Read more about risky interview questions here.

Additional Information

If you’re unable to view our August 2020 Economic Report or would like additional information, read below:

  • The unemployment rate declined by 1.8% to 8.4% in August. The number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million.
  • Total employment increased by 1.4 million in August after rising by 1.8 million in July. Employment was about 7.6% lower than its February level.
  • The government added 344,000 jobs.
  • Retail Trade added 248,900 jobs.
  • Professional and Business Services added 197,000 jobs.
  • Leisure and Hospitality added 174,000 jobs.
  • Education and Health Services added 147,000 jobs.
  • Transportation and Warehousing added 78,100 jobs.
  • Other services added 74,000 jobs.
  • Financial Activities added 36,000 jobs.
  • Manufacturing added 29,000 jobs.
  • Construction added 16,000 jobs.
  • Information added 15,000 jobs.
  • Wholesale Trade added 13,500 jobs.
  • Utilities added 600 jobs.
  • Mining and Logging lost 2,000 jobs.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 11¢ to $29.47.

Note: Data below represents changes from different months.

  • Job openings rose 9.6% in June to 5.9 million openings.
  • Dow Jones rose 7.1% in August with a high of 28,733.35 points.
  • Housing starts rose by 22.6% to 1,496,000 in July.
  • Consumer price index rose 0.6% in July.
  • The federal prime rate remained at 3.25% in August after dropping from 4.25% in March.
  • Retail inventories dropped 2.6% in June to $588 billion.
  • Manufacturing hours worked per week rose 0.8% to an average of 40 hours in August.
  • Manufacturing new orders rose by 6.4% to $466 billion in July.

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