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Information sector has best month of net job growth for 2020 as theaters reopen

In August, the information industry had its best month of employment figures since the pandemic began hitting the U.S., though it still lagged behind many other industries in job growth, data shows.

The information sector — which includes the publishing, broadcasting, telecommunications and data processing industries — saw net job gains totaling approximately 15,600 in August, according to preliminary data on employment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number represents the best month of net job growth for the industry for all of 2020.

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Within the information industry, the biggest gain occurred in the motion picture and sound recording industries, which added a net of 13,900 jobs. Many theaters across the country have recently begun reopening. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. previously said that approximately 70% of its US theaters would be open by Sept. 4.

Director Christopher Nolan dropped his long-awaited and long-delayed time travel movie "Tenet" on Sept. 3. Box Office Mojo, a website that tracks box office revenue, reported the movie grossed $20.2 million domestically on its opening weekend, appearing in 2,810 theaters.

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The broadcasting industry, except internet, added a net of 4,300 jobs, while the publishing industries, except internet, added a net of 3,300 jobs in the month.

Aside from the information sector, most other sectors added jobs in August. The U.S. economy overall added a net of 1.37 million nonfarm jobs during the month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The August performance marks a turning point for the information sector, which has yet to recover fully from the job losses it saw during the worst of the pandemic. In April, with movie theaters closed and entertainment production efforts stalled across the country, the information industry lost a net of 279,000 jobs.

The information industry's net gain of jobs in August was just the second time the industry has added jobs since March. In June, the sector added a net of 7,000 jobs.

Still, the industry lagged most other nonfarm sectors. The information sector's net gain of approximately 15,000 jobs was the fewest of any industry that added jobs for the month, ahead of just the mining and logging and state government industries, which each lost a net of 2,000 jobs, respectively.

For August, the trade, transportation and utilities industry led all nonfarm industries in job growth with a net gain of 341,000 jobs in the month. The federal government and professional and business services industries rounded out the top three, with net gains of 251,000 and 197,000, respectively.

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