Friday, September 02, 2011

August Employment Report: 0 Jobs (unchanged), 9.1% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 9/02/2011 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from
+46,000 to +20,000, and the change for July was revised from +117,000 to +85,000.
The following graph shows the employment population ratio, the participation rate, and the unemployment rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.1% (red line).

The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 64.0% in August (blue line). This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years, although some of the decline is due to the aging population.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 58.2% in August (black line).

Note: the household survey showed a strong gain in jobs, and that is why the unemployment rate could hold steady with no payroll jobs added - and the participation rate increase.

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

The red line is moving sideways - and I'll need to expand the graph soon.

The current employment recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only the early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).

This was very weak and well below expectations for payroll jobs. I'll have much more soon ...

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