Tuesday, September 24, 2013

August Employment Gains and Unemployment Rate Disappoint via Axiometrics

August job gains were weak yet the national unemployment rate ticked down. While some news outlets reported August’s employment data as a “mixed bag”, the story is really bad news on two fronts. The U.S. economy continued to limp along with unremarkable gains in August. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that total nonfarm seasonally adjusted (SA) payroll employment gained 169,000 jobs in August, well below the consensus forecast of 180,000 jobs. In addition, not only did net hiring miss expectations for last month but the job gain totals for June and July were revised to show 74,000 fewer positions added than previously reported. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was decreased from 188,000 to 172,000, while July was revised downward from 162,000 to 104,000. Employers have added an average of just 148,000 jobs per month in the past three months, well below the 12-month average of 184,000.

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