By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in September, but diminishing government financial assistance and a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country could slow the labor market’s recovery from the pandemic.
Other data on Wednesday confirmed that the economy suffered its sharpest contraction in at least 73 years in the second quarter because of the disruptions from the coronavirus. Record growth is predicted in the third quarter, buoyed by fiscal stimulus and the resumption of many business operations.
But without another rescue package, rising coronavirus infections and political uncertainty that could extend beyond the Nov. 3 presidential election, gross domestic product estimates for the fourth quarter are being slashed.
“With economic momentum cooling, fiscal stimulus expiring, flu season approaching and election uncertainty rising, the main question is how strong the labor market will be going into the fourth quarter,” said