The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in its employment situation release this morning that +169k jobs were added in August. This is worse than what economists expected for the month.
The July job gains of +162k was revised down to +104k, and the June jobs gains of +188k was revised down to +172k.
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The majority of new jobs this month came in the retail trade and education sectors. Information services showed the biggest monthly decline.
- Mining and Logging: +4k payrolls compared to +2k last month.
- Construction: 0k payrolls compared to -3k last month.
- Manufacturing: 14k payrolls compared to -16k last month.
- Wholesale Trade: +8.4k payrolls compared to +11.6k last month.
- Retail Trade: +44k payrolls compared to +48.8k last month.
- Transportation: +12k payrolls compared to -13.9k last month.
- Information Services: -18k payrolls compared to +13k last month.
- Financial Activities: -5k payrolls compared to +17k last month.
- Professional Services: +23k payrolls compared to +32k last month.
- Education: +43k payrolls compared to +26k last month.
- Leisure and Hospitality: +27k payrolls compared to +13k last month.
- Other Services: 0k payrolls compared to -2k last month.
- Government: +17k payrolls compared to -23k last month.
Here’s the cumulative changes in payrolls by industry since July 2007.
The unemployment rate (U-3) decreased in August to 7.3% from 7.4% in July while the broader unemployment rate (U-6) decreased to 13.7% from 14.0.
The labor force participation rate decreased to 63.2% from 63.4% in July. This is the third consecutive monthly decrease in the labor force participation rate.
The employment-population ratio decreased to 58.6% from 58.7% in July.
I will note again as I do every month that the current labor force participation rate is very low by historical standards. The current labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been since August of 1978.
The labor force participation rate among all men decreased in August to 69.5% from 69.9% in July. The labor force participation rate among all women decreased to 57.3% from 57.4%.
Among production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked were unchanged from last month at 33.6. Average hourly earnings increased to $20.20 from $20.16, making average weekly earnings of $678.72 from $677.38 last month.
The average duration of unemployment increased in August to 37.0 weeks compared to 36.6 weeks in July. Increases in unemployment duration are a very negative sign for the structural strength and stability of the employment market.
I always include a longer time frame on this chart to provide some context of just how bad this recession has been for the long-term unemployed. This is still the leading employment indicator that shows how “this time is different.”
Percent of unemployed by duration:
- Less than 5 weeks: 22.7% compared to 22.4% last month.
- 5 to 14 weeks: 24.4% compared to 25.0% last month.
- 15 to 26 weeks: 15.0% compared to 15.6% last month.
- 27 weeks and over: 37.9% compared to 37.0% last month.
Employment improved for the middle-aged folks this month, while youth unemployment changes were generally negative. The unemployment rate of age groups:
- 16 to 17: 26.3% compared to 29.1% last month.
- 18 to 19: 21.7% compared to 19.9% last month.
- 20 to 24: 13.0% compared to 12.6% last month.
- 25 to 34: 7.8% compared to 7.5% last month.
- 35 to 44: 5.7% compared to 6.0% last month.
- 45 to 54: 5.5% compared to 5.7% last month.
- 55+: 5.1% compared to 5.0% last month.
The unemployment rate for men was unchanged in August at 7.7%. The unemployment rate for women decreased to 6.8% from 7.0%.
The unemployment rate among all veterans in August was 6.2% from July’s 6.4%.
The unemployment rate among male veterans decreased to 6.0% from 6.4% last month. The wildly volatile female veteran unemployment rate was 7.7%, up from the 6.6% it was last month.
Of the 4 racial groups tracked by the BLS, only Blacks experienced a higher unemployment rate than the month prior:
- White: 6.4% compared to 6.6% last month.
- Black: 13.0% compared to 12.6% last month.
- Asian: 5.1% compared to 5.7% last month.
- Hispanic: 9.3% compared to 9.4% last month.
Unemployment rates by education level:
- Less than a high school diploma: 11.3% compared to 11.0% last month.
- High school graduates: 7.6% from 7.6% last month.
- Some college or Associate degree: 6.1% from 6.0% last month.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher: 3.5% from 3.8% last month.
Breaking from the trend a bit, August was a very positive month for those seeking full-time jobs. By counting the total number of employed persons by employment status, we find that +118k full-time jobs were added in August as compared with +92k full-time jobs in July. Part-time jobs shifted -234k in August as compared with a +174k change in July.
The total number of part-time employed in August were 27.999 million from 28.233 million in July. The total number of full-time persons were 116.208 million from 116.090 million last month.
This means that the ratio of full-time workers to total workers in August was 80.58%, an increase from July’s 80.44%, but still historically very low.
All in all, this is yet another very mixed jobs report accompanying a very mixed economic recovery.
Full table of employment changes in August: