Oct 6, 2020 - Economy

Employment in services is starting to return

Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Institute for Supply Management; Chart: Axios Visuals

Purchasing managers indexes have been buoyant in recent months and in August the employment component on the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing survey turned positive after five straight months of readings below 50.

What it means: PMI surveys ask businesses whether conditions are improving or worsening and then produce an index that measures the sentiment of the sector.

  • While overall PMI readings on both manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes had shown V-shaped recoveries in recent months, unemployment has lagged.
  • September's jobs report showed the services sector was the largest industry in terms of gains, led by leisure/hospitality and retail trade, which added 318,000 and 142,400 jobs, respectively.

The overall services index hit 57.8, 0.9 percentage points higher than the August reading of 56.9, but below the July reading of 58.1.

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